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Author Topic: TOOLS: Responding to domestic violence [women]  (Read 27781 times)
united for now
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« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2008, 09:37:31 AM »

My first relationship lasted 21 years. He was NOT BPD in any way, shape, or form, but there was many incidents of him getting drunk on hard liqour. He was a mean drunk on that stuff, and would turn very critical and verbally abusive towards me, then one time he got so upset that he  held my arms so tightly that he left bruises on me and threw me on the bed. I left him that night, and went to stay with family for 3 days. No kids, no marriage, so no reason to put up with it. He called and promised to never drink hard alchohal again, since he finally recognized that it made him a mean drunk. That was in year 1 of our relationship, and he stuck to that for the next 20 years. He never again drank anything besides beer and he never came close to being physical with me. He acted - I reacted and set a firm boundary that was never approaced again.

Now, did he stick to that commitment due to my being so firm the first time it happened, or was it because we were both young and he hadn't established any bad habits yet? Could he have become an abuser if he had been with someone who had accepted his excuses and apologies and not been so firm? Drinking shots was a large part of the culture during our young life, so for him to give it up meant he went against a lot of peer pressure, but he did it anyway, time after time, year after year. For him, he knew hard liquor made him mean, so he thought of it as poison and refused. It could have gone differently though...

For me, I wouldn't tolerate any form of physical abuse then or now - but I did sit there while my now uBPbf of 4 years screamed hateful and hurtful things at me. I listened as he blamed me for everything that was wrong. I felt bad because I wasn't doing things the way HE wanted me to. I just wanted it to stop, so I gave in. Weaker boundaries and fear of him leaving me kept me silent and compliant.

One time, over two years ago, he got very upset while I was driving and punched the windshield in anger. I kept my cool and didn't escalate things, but I also didn't see it as physical abuse and surprisingly I remember not being scared of him. Now I recognize that it was a display of his power and an attempt to intimidate me. I guess since I didn't respond in the appropriate way of being scared, that so far it hasn't happened again. His excuse? "At least I didn't hit you..."

Now that my eyes are open to what it was?
I won't tolerate signs or attempts to intimidate me, now that I know what it is designed to do...

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« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2008, 10:40:46 AM »

I believe that for many, it is a choice to become violent, in an attempt to regain control over their partner.

They can become that way when they feel they are losing their power over us, when we begin to become stronger and less compliant. They feel threatened and scared themselves, so they use aggression against us to "put us back in our place". It can become an extreme example of an extinction burst. One member wrote about the elevator analogy, that when his SO went through it, she didn't just punch the buttons, but took a sledge hammer to the panel in her attempt to regain control - to get things working like she wished them too...

How do we deal with it?
That's the million dollar question, and for each of us it is different.
Understand that it is always wrong though, and that it needs to stop.

If we are going to stay, then we need to develop new skills and change our responses, since our previous attempts didn't work too well. You can't keep hoping for change - you have to create it... We need to learn how to protect ourselves, and hopefully begin to recognize the warning signs early enough to take that time out, and not stick around for things to reach the point of violence and hurt.  To be more proactive rather than reactive.

We need to love ourselves MORE than we love them. To believe that we deserve better than to be abused. That if the relationship is to survive, that we are the ones who will have to make the changes first, and hopefully they will learn to follow our lead. If not? then we leave for good...
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« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2008, 12:30:18 PM »

A lot of comments about zero tolerance... but I suspect few would leave after a single event.. especially if there are significant financial or family consequences... or its a first event... or it was not injurous.  That seems to be a common theme here... "I recommend zero tolerance, but I didn't practice it myself."

So what are the appropriate reactions in these cases?



If you haven't already - watch this short video
http://www.bpdfamily.com/tools/articles2c.htm

The point of this vid is:

1) we know the sequence of events that will lead to the next confrontation (it will be a repeat of before)

2) today, in the peace of day, we can design how you will react next time in a way to be safe

3) we can practice it - like a fire drill - over and over.  Like in the trauma of a fire we won't have time to think - we need to know the drill and we need to know ahead of time what should trigger our plan (don't let it get all the way  to confrontation).

Confrontations often have a pattern.  Can you think of the earliest point in the pattern that you can recognize when it is starting to "go down"? 

When that happens, what exactly will you do?

Wait a year?  Not actionable - that won't help you in a DV incident.

Go No Contact? Too general - that won't help you in a DV incident.

Zero tolerance Too general - that won't help you in a DV incident.

Not be triggered? Not realistic - if it was that easy we would have done it before.

See the point?

We really need something detailed and real, like:

Say we need to use the restroom, grab our emergency stash, quietly go out the back door to the neighbors and have them call us a cab.  Go to a hotel that we have previously identified and check in under an assumed name (we may need to pre-arrange this).  Send a text message to his phone saying that we are heartbroken that its another fight - we are safe - and we will be home tomorrow. Call the police and get the incident on record. Turn off the phone. (example only)

The idea is to have a step by step plan side step the drama, get where we can't be found, send a conciliatory note that we are "safe, gone for a day, and hope for better when we return".

After we use one, you may need another plan for the next time. 

We can't experince DV if we are gone.  And it gives both of us time to cool.

Skippy
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« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2009, 03:56:15 PM »

Wow Skip - that's really helpful!

definition and much, much more:  http://www.ywca.org/site/pp.asp?c=8nKFITNvEoG&b=1122883

Sorry this isn't set up as a link, but I'm kind of hurrying while baby's sleeping. . .  I didn't read everyone's comments real fully. . .

The above will take you to the YWCA Battered Women Task Force site from the Topeka, KS, YWCA.  It is pretty much the standard information given by most all domestic violence programs, nationwide.  I hold a special place in my heart for the BWTH in Topeka.  They saved my life.  There is also a program there called "Alternatives to Battering" which focuses on helping the abusers learn a different way.  My ex actually participated in that program himself, and we enjoyed a few good years as a result.

There is much information you can link to from this web address.  Information for all types of domestic violence, no matter what kind of relationship.  There is also much information concerning sexual abuse and rape recovery.

The bottom line, domestic violence isn't always between a husband and wife.  It doesn't always include broken bones and bleeding.  It can include so many different things that don't have anything to do with actual physical acts.  But most importantly, it ALWAYS escalates, it always cycles, and and there is no way to know when the line will be crossed between simple threats used as control, and actual physical violence.  Unless there is some intervention to break the cycle, it repeats over and over and over.  In my case, I spent many, many years being tomrented and controlled mainly through terroristic threats, money, pet abuse, property destruction, but each time I tried to actually do something about it, it always became explosively violent and dangerous - ALWAYS.  And it would have kept going that way if I wouldn't have learned how to change ME - what was in me that contributed to the cycle.  It is only ME that could change, or it would keep going on and on the way it was, and if and when I did break free, I'd probably end up being attracted to the next abusive person in my life.  That was hard to accept.  That I had responsibility in WHY this was happening.

I finally had a counselor at the BWTH sit me down, replay the recording of what had gone on in my house when a SWAT team and my ex all thought the kids and I were still in the house.  I'd escaped through a window hours earlier, but no one knew that.  She asked me, when I was not wanting to go into the shelter, if I was waiting for someone to be dead before I could finally see that I was in an abusive relationship.  What was it going to take?  I was later taken to my home to see what he'd done to it, by the counselor, as well.  Finally, I understood that if I didn't do something, learn all I could on how to get out of this relationship, we would end up on the front page - "Deranged Viet Nam Veteran Kills Wife and Kids, Then Self. . ."

All I'd done to set this off was suggest about thirty minutes earlier that I drive us home from our friends' house as he'd had too much to drink.  What a ride home THAT was.

If we'd been in the room he thought we were in, my children and I would be dead.  It took SWAT over six hours to get him out of the house alive and once that happened, it was considered a certainty that they would unbarricade our bedroom door to find me and my children shot to death.  So much gunfire, and just about everything we owned splintered beyond recognition by his rage.  And at this point, there had been no direct violence to my actual person for a very long time.  I hadn't been hit.  But I'd had a fist put through the wall within a fraction of an inch of my face.  I'd had all of my clothing cut up with knives while hanging in the closet.  I'd had every piece of furniture in the house that really meant something to me chopped up and thrown into the fire place.  Family heirlooms destroyed.  Photos and other important to me mementos destroyed.  I'd had my dog shot in the head right in front of me and my children because he'd been chasing the cat around and it pissed him off.

I could go on with the numerous other acts of domestic violence that occurred that had nothing whatsoever to do with actual damage to my person, but this should give a good picture.  There was plenty of the other at times but I have to say, for me, it was mainly terrorism and the threat that if I tried to leave and take the kids, he'd kill us all, and he'd kill anyone who tried to help us.  These speaks to some of the discussion here as to "why" we stay.  Terror.  Fear.  And guilt that would be felt if someone got hurt or worse because they were trying to help me.  On several occasions I asked law enforcement to leave because I didn't want some young cop, probably with little kids of his own, getting blown away because he'd answered a DV call to my house.

I don't much like going down this memory lane, but if it will help others to get the help they need to get out of these kinds of situations, it is worth it.  This is just one, really small piece of the entire story for me, but it was the big turning point for me.  This event got me into the shelter and involved with the Task Force.  I learned all I could.  Safety plans were developed.  Escape plans as well.  Long term planning.  Shelter, food and clothing was provided, even being moved to a distant shelter when it was feared we'd been found where we were.  At one point, arrangements were made to change my identity and sent me to another state altogether.  Counseling.  And even though it took a number of years, I was able to break free with everyone still alive.  Lots and lots of help.  Help that is available to ANYONE who is in a DV situation but thinks they may be trapped, or unique, or deserve it, which is so common.

I have friends I made through these programs who were not as fortunate as I.  Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of early death for women.  It takes hard work to change ourselves once we've been twisted by someone elses desire to have total power and control over us.  It can be done however and it is through these types of programs that it is done.

I hope this can help in some way.  Love, hugs and God bless, Barb

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« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2009, 01:23:33 PM »

We have excerpts from the Domestic Violence Training Manual, SIMMONS School Of Social Work , Massachusetts NASW Committee on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault 
http://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=87567.0

It is eye opening to me to see all of the different types of resources available in the communities.  Here is a short list and descriptions from the manual:


911

If a person is in immediate danger of physical harm, they should always call 911 or their local police emergency number.

Hotlines

Many times, however, survivors are looking for assistance and support without being in imminent danger. A hotline is a good resource for such instances. Hotlines are 24 hour numbers that are staffed by trained counselors. The counselors can provide emotional support, assistance with finding emergency shelter, safety planning, and information about legal options. Survivors can call anonymously and confidentially, although hotline counselors are also mandated reporters.
 
 The National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-SAFE provides safety planning, information, emotional support, and referrals to local domestic violence programs.
 
Shelters

Shelters provide a safe place for many women and children to escape the violence in their homes. Most shelters will provide additional support services to the residents and community, including individual counseling, case management, support groups, children’s services, and legal advocacy. Most shelters are funded to allow a stay of 14-90 days. These services are typically free.

The goal of a shelter program is to provide a safe place for survivors and their children to manage the crisis and begin to recover from the violence while they locate safe and more long-term housing.

Battered women’s shelters generally operate differently from homeless shelters because of the safety risks to the residents. Battered women’s shelters are usually located in undisclosed locations and have rules that residents must follow in an effort to maximize everyone’s safety. These rules may include not telling people where they are, taking a leave of absence from their jobs, and having no contact with their abusive partner. Additionally, most shelter programs will not take a family or individual from the communities that they serve, although they will assist them with locating space in another shelter. The reason for this is that it is easy for an abusive partner to track a survivor to the local program.

Unfortunately, shelter beds are not always available. Shelters may be full or, for various reasons, unable to meet the needs of the family. For example: many shelters will not allow a woman to bring a son over the age of 12; most will not accept adult male survivors of domestic violence; some are not equipped to accommodate certain physical, medical, or dietary needs. Increasingly, there are specialized programs to meet these needs.

If a battered woman’s shelter is unavailable for any reason, it is important for you to identify with the person another place where she or he may seek emergency shelter.

Shelter bed availability changes from day to day. Sometimes if an alternate safe place can be found for a night or two, space will open up in a shelter. In some circumstances the survivor may feel safe, temporarily staying with family, friends or others.

Safe Home Programs

Safe home programs are similar to shelter programs, but are very short term—usually providing a place to stay for only a few days. Some of the safe home programs are designed to meet the needs of those survivors that the shelter programs can not accommodate. A safe home program will work with the family or individual to find another safe place to go at the end of their stay. Like shelter programs, safe home programs can be accessed through all the hotlines. Safe home programs are typically free.

Hospitals and Health Centers

In the last decade, many hospitals and health centers have begun to establish domestic violence programs or hire domestic violence advocates.
 
These programs typically offer safety planning, individual and group support, and information and referrals. The staff of the programs also train the medical personnel on how to safely and effectively intervene with survivors. 

Survivors can access these programs by contacting a hospital or health center where they have received medical care and asking to be connected to the domestic violence services.

The programs are usually free and confidential. Participation in the program does not usually appear in the survivor’s medical record, although it is recommended that the survivor ask about this to be sure.

Employee Assistance Programs

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) have also been developing expertise in working with survivors of domestic violence in the workplace. Typically, EAPs have been able to offer short-term counseling, information, and referrals to survivors. Additionally, EAPs can help with conflicts that might arise at work related to domestic violence and help a survivor develop a safety plan for the workplace. Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of employee absence.

Police Departments

Many police departments have officers designated to follow domestic violence cases and/or civilian advocates stationed in the department. The domestic violence officer or advocate can assist the survivor with filing a police report for an incident, enforcing a restraining order, or following up on abuse incidents. In an emergency, a survivor should work with any police officer. However, after an incident, it is useful for the survivor to contact the domestic violence officer or advocate and update them regarding the situation. This allows for more consistent response by the police. If the abuser is a police officer, this resource may be compromised.

Courts

Many people who have been abused seek support and protection through the district (criminal) and/or probate (family) court systems. Frequently, this takes the form of a protection order (restraining order) from the court.

Survivors of domestic violence can seek additional relief from the probate court in the form of custody and/or visitation orders and/or divorce. A few probate courts will have legal clinics at which a person can get free or low-cost legal advice for the day.

Survivors who are financially eligible may access a family law attorney through a local legal service agency. Such agencies provide free or reduced-fee legal assistance and often have attorneys who specialize in domestic violence cases. Shelters may also provide limited legal assistance around specific matters and/or have a listing of attorneys that provide free or reduced fees.

Department of Social Services

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is the child protection agency in Massachusetts. A large percentage of the families involved with this agency are dealing with abuse between the parents or a parent and a significant other.

Although having DSS involved in a family’s life can be very distressing and scary for the survivor, DSS can often be a source of support as well. Sometimes, this agency is able to assist the family with accessing services that they might not otherwise be able to access. For example, DSS may offer assistance with accessing shelters, specialized counseling for the survivor and/or children, or a batterer’s intervention program for the batterer. Additionally, DSS may be able to provide funding for an after-school program, day care, or other child-related service, depending upon the specific needs of the family. 

It is essential to engage in ongoing safety planning with the non-abusive parent when DSS is involved, as this intervention can escalate the abuse.
 
Individual Counseling

Survivors of domestic violence benefit from talking with a safe, supportive person. There are many potential sources of counseling available. These include domestic violence counselors in battered women’s programs and licensed professionals such as social workers, psychologists, and mental health workers. 


Couple Counseling 

Survivors often wonder if couple counseling would be helpful in ending the violence.

Sometimes this is the only form of help to which the abusive partner will agree. Often a social worker may not know if there is domestic violence. People seeking couple counseling often do not identify domestic violence as a presenting issue. It is important, therefore, always to interview each member of a couple separately, before agreeing that couple’s therapy is the appropriate form of help.

Couple counseling requires that both people be honest and open. In the case of domestic violence, survivors may face serious consequences for sharing information about the relationship. Alternatively, survivors may choose not to share vital information to protect themselves.

It is important that you recognize the real danger survivors face in their daily lives.  If there is on-going violence in the relationship, couple counseling is not a safe option. Even if the abuse is not physical, there are risks to participating in couple counseling for the survivor.
 
Support groups

Many survivors find a support group very helpful. Most battered women’s programs in the community, hospitals, and in mental health clinics will offer groups for survivors. Often these groups are free. There are some programs that will offer support groups in languages other than English.

Rape Crisis Services

Some battered women’s programs are affiliated with a rape crisis center or also provide rape crisis services. Often overlooked, sexual assault within an intimate relationship is a very common occurrence. Some survivors may find it helpful to get support specifically around the sexual abuse they are experiencing. This can be done through a rape crisis center, if preferred, or a domestic violence program.

Batterer Intervention Programs

There are many programs to which a batterer may be referred. Some of these are state-certified Batterer Intervention Programs. These programs use a group model to address the batterer's violence.

Groups usually meet over a period of 40 weeks. During this time, the abuser is engaged in a process of taking responsibility for their behavior and is held accountable for his actions by both the group facilitators and other group members.

These groups are offered in different languages and are also offered to lesbian and gay batterers. 

During the first stage of the group, the survivor will be contacted by a Partner Contact. This person’s role is to maintain confidential, periodic contact with the survivor in an effort to assess the current abuse in the relationship and to provide resources and support around safety. 

Immigration Services

Immigrant survivors of domestic violence may have difficulty finding appropriate resources. Frequently an immigrant survivor is more isolated as a result of language barriers, immigration status, and lack of knowledge about options and services in the United States. 

Some battered women’s agencies are able to provide services in different languages.

It is strongly recommended that if there is any concern regarding the immigrant survivor’s legal status, an attorney specializing in immigration law be consulted.
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« Reply #45 on: January 24, 2010, 11:25:30 AM »

Regarding the section on immigration... there are US federal laws in place that can be leveraged to get relief when a person who is not a US citizen is trapped by an abusive spouse and seemingly can't get out without being deported. A person in this situation should seek legal assistance, if possible, to petition the US gov't for green card based on the abuse from the US citizen spouse. If you can't get a lawyer, you can do it yourself. It isn't as big of a deal as it may seem. It is done by a hearing panel, not in court, and you just have to make a convincing case. Of course, if you have been to court to get an RO or have any police reports of DV, that makes your case even stronger.
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« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2010, 01:50:21 AM »

This thread couldnt of come at a better time.  I just posted a thread asking "how long does it take to find yourself again?" and now I realize why its taking so long.
I was abused physically and emotionally for 24 yrs!  And i wonder why im not feeling better in a few months? Geese.. I wonder..   

It makes perfect sense when I remember all the abuse I endured.  I guess you have to block it out to continue to stay in the relationship but now that Im out, I wonder how much that lifetime of violence and raging and abuse has damaged me?  Will I ever be whole again?

I am in therapy and see two different therapists but havent focused on the abuse issue since I have been on the path of trying to free myself first.  and now that im free, I feel stuck.  Stuck on stupid.. Stuck on somethin.. but definately stuck in my mind and not able to pick up the pieces.

I really appreciate why im struggling so much now.   amazing what we can blind ourselves to.
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« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2010, 10:22:04 PM »

1Bravegirl,
Thanks for posting your comment because I feel the same way. Like you, I have been verbally and sometimes physically abused for over 20 years. I have finally recognized it for what it is and spoke to a lawyer. I have put some very strict boundaries since a month and I am LC. Peace has settled in the house since a few weeks although we are still living under the same roof.
My husband is seeing a psychiatrist and beg me not to leave him.
I am in therapy, but again like you, unable to pick-up the pieces. For me shame prevails. I feel constantly ashamed that I stayed so long and that I took the abuse. I knew there was a problem but I always dismissed it under the pretext that I was with a "difficult" person. Now I feel terribly, terribly ashamed. And I am more "depressed" now than I was when I had to face the abuses.
If someone could explain to me, why I feel this way...
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« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2010, 03:46:21 AM »

I think i know why cause thats exactly where im at/  when we are in it and making excuses for the abuse and living on the edge with all that adrenaline not knowing when the next shoe will drop or the next rage will occur, we dont have time to feel anything but survival and stay in denial for the most part just to cope.

But when we finally except the horrible abuse that occurred and how we too had a part in allowing it for so long we start to allow ourselves to feel things we blocked out before.. And the truth will set us free but it also hurts a great deal if you havent been living in it.

So with all the new things we are allowing ourselves to feel and come to terms with, we will feel like at times its harder than the abuse itself, because we were accustomed to the abuse and allowed it to become somewhat the norm..  as a way to deal with our reality.. without having to face how ugly an existence that was.  But now we have no reason to block anything out and the truth is staring us in the face and it hurts.. As you said, the shame you feel is overwhelming at times.. I dont feel a lot of shame since from the beginning i had strong self esteem and was a very confident and optimistic person and i wasnt til the last 5 yrs that I lost all that..  but i still always reminded myself and him too that I was not those things and it was his way of making me feel bad about myself since he had so many unresolved issues and we all know how misery loves company.. so for the longest, if he cussed me out i wouldnt even let it bother me cuz i knew it wasnt true and i made the excuse that he was just very very ill  mentally and had that ugly abusive mentality passed down from generation to generation and that was all he knew.. 

But now i understand, thats not my fault@  and i shouldnt help the cycle continue and be abused too!  no thanks.. but it takes time to find yourself and your strength that you had the entire time but didnt know how to use it.  I pray you can overcome that feeling of shame..  It was something that was done to you..  and they hold us down by making us feel ashamed of their behavior.. another controlling tactic that they use to strip us of all self worth..  you have nothing to be ashamed of.  Many times we are too insecure or we dont feel like we can make it on our own financially or whatever.. it take s time to see your way through the FOG.. and thats a very normal process.. please know you have no reason to be ashamed of his abusive behavior towards you.. That is his issue so we have to allow them to completely own it and free ourselves of anything having to do with their hangups.. 

We dont have those abusive hang-ups so why should we feel bad for them.? It certainly isnt a case of "ignorance is bliss"  lol   no we were ignorant in many ways but we found a way to educate ourselves and are making our way thru this when it was right for us..  here i am 24 yrs married this July and I will not allow myself to take on more pain than I already have.. I'll except my part in staying as long as i did but will not let that rob me of anymore self esteem and inner peace and confidence that has already been robbed from staying..

I look at it this way.. if we continue to feel bad about our role in that abuse, then in essence they still have a hold on us and are affecting us negatively even while we are out of the abuse   we cannot let that happen if at all possible..  we have already been thru so much..  we need to love ourselves and embrace our love and heart and humanity and all our gifts and if we do that, we will have no room to think about our faults that burden us down or our guilt from the past.     We can let that go when it is time to do so and feel the freedom that our Creator wanted for us..   We are not responsible for their abusive ways.. we were there trying to make the best of it and support them at way too big a cost..  we understand that now...

It is all a learning experience and we cannot feel bad about something that we were learning ourselves as the years went on.   too many dynamics to even try to explain why and what if i would of?  no reasoning can ever make sense of it.. it is what it is but it isnt anymore and thats all that counts. right?   

Much love to you friend.. xoxo
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« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2010, 07:02:17 PM »

LOAnnie,
Quote
Children are trained and conditioned to not ask for help from other adults; they're even made to fear and mistrust other adults, plus, kids believe that they deserve whatever treatment mother dishes out to them.


This quote of yours struck home.  Not because I was abused as a child (maybe neglected emotionally, but not abused in that sense), but because this is exactly how my exbpdbf made me feel.  Afraid of other people, mistrustful that something they would do would 'set him off'.  I was told that what he did was my fault.  Abusers are a consistent bunch, that's for sure.

1bravegirl,

You are so right it takes awhile to find yourself.  It's not overnight.  I remember thinking to myself "I just want to get to a baseline of emotional stability.  I don't have to be overjoyed.  Just a baseline."  When it happened I didn't even recognize it; it happens by such increments and there's the old 3 steps forward, 1 step back...

Keep working at it.  Don't stop.  Don't sell yourself short.  You can do this.  Pick one or two or three things you want to work on at a time.  Post those things everywhere!  Keep re-wiring the tape in your head.  Keep repeating what you are working for, not what you're working against.  Push what is holding you back away- just for those times you are focusing on the FUTURE.  I don't advocate not going through the emotions and things you've been through.  It's like telling you to not think about the black cow by the fence.  What do you think about?  You've got to go through the steps.  Not easy... But once you get through it... WOW.  It's like the 4th step in AA- facing your mistakes.  Often, people leave at that step.  But if they can get through that ...  WOW.  I know this is rambling... But you all can do this.  I've been through every sort of abuse in the short time I was with my exbpdbf...  I didn't walk away, until I had to.  But I did.  You did.  If you all could do that, you CAN DO ANYTHING.  Don't give up.  Don't become the perpetual victim.  YOU ARE NOT.

Take care,
Foiles
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« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2010, 09:55:52 PM »

Hi 1bravegirl
Thank you for your comment. It makes sense. I am still at the stage where I re-live everything. I was in so much denial until just a few weeks ago. Now it's overwhelmingly painful. I have no energy, just pain. Hopefully it will go away
How are you feeling? Just a few days ago you were saying that you feel stuck.
Kind thoughts back to you. xoxo
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« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2010, 12:30:33 AM »

Just thought I'd add to the thread...

HELP YOURSELF STAY SAFE

IF YOU STAY

If you are living in an abusive relationship and are not ready to leave, you must keep yourself and your children safe.  Whatever your reasons for staying, you do not deserve to be abused.  If you decide to stay with your partner and work things out, seek outside help.  See a counsellor who does not blame you for the abuse, and who puts yur safety first.

Contact a women's shelter, public health nurse, nursing station or hospital to get recommendations for counselling.

Prepare a Safety Plan

  • Be aware of any weapons in the house
  • Make a plan about what to do and where to go if you are in danger.  Tell your children of your plan if they are old enough to understand how to follow directions.
  • If you have a car, truck, skidoo, or motorboat, make sure it has gas.
  • Try to keep your transportation in good repair so it won't fail you.
  • Keep an extra set of keys in a secret hiding place.
  • Always keep some money hidden to help you get away.
  • Keep a list of important phone numbers in the hiding place with your money.
  • Work out a code word that can be used on the phone with someone you trust if you are in danger.
  • Have a signal - some women hang something out of a window that can be seen by a passerby who can check on you.
  • Have a place of hiding to go to.
  • Call people in advance to tell them you are coming over, so they can watch for you.


Save Money

Save whatever money you can in a bank account which is in your name only.  Kep the bank book in a place where your partner won't find it. Many people are surprised at how quickly and suddenly they may be in an emergency situation.  Save from the grocery money or however you can if you don't have any other sources of income.  Knowing that you have an demergency fund will help reduce your anxiety.

Pregnancy

Do not get pregnant if you think that your relationship is not good and may become more abusive.  Make sure you control your birth control method and that your birth control method works.  Your parner may abuse you even more while you are pregnant - and after you give birth.  Pregnancy could also make it harder for you to leave.  IF you become pregnant and don't want to be, get counselling to discuss your options.  If you are already pregnant, you can still follow these other survival measures. If you are a man take charge of birth control. No glove no love.

Secrets are Harmful

Don't be ashamed to discuss your problems with others who believe abuse is wrong.  You need support.  There are still many people who believe, wrongly, that it's okay for a man to abuse his partner and that it is her fault if he does.  Choose the people you talk with carefully.  Many people do not understand the seriousness of abuse of men by women.

The abuser is Responsible for their Behaviour

Remember, his/her behaviour is not your responsbility.  Do not be ashamed to tell someone if he/her is abusing you.  It is not your fault.  if he/her abuses you they have a problem.  Encourage them to get help.  

If you feel something is wrong, it is smart to ask for help.  It does not mean you are weak, sick or stupid if you askd for help.  You are doing something positive for yourself.

Stand up for Yourself...

IF the abuse is just starting, tell your parner you will stand up for yourself and your rights and that you will not them abuse you.  If possible, ask his/her family, as well as your own, to tell them this behaviour is not okay.

...But Be Careful

If he/her is used to getting their own way and you giving in, they may abuse you even more if you try to stand up for yourself.  If you are afraid this may happen, try to get support from family or counsellors before you make a stand.  Do not try it when you are alone with them and make sure you have a safe place to go if you need it.  Be prepared to take the step of leaving your partner in order to be free from abuse.

Suicide is Not the Answer

It is normal to feel depressed at this time of your life.  Many people have the feeling that suicide is the only real option.  Killing yourself may seem like the best escape. It is not.  

If you feel suicidal it's often the result of believeing your partners's put downs, denying your anger twoard them and turning it on yourself.

There are other options.  There are shelters. There are crisis lines. There are people who will help you if you reach out.  IF you do not find help at first, keep on looking and asking for help.  You have the right to be angry at your situation. Use your anger to begin to take care of yourself.

Faith and trust in yourself are important to feeling good about yourself.  Face your feelings and fears.  Praise yourself for what you do well.  Have faith in your future. You can learn from your experiences.  You can change your life.

Relax and Play

Find something you like to do for yourself.  You deserve to have some happiness and fun in your life.

YOU ARE STRONG
You need to remind yourself that you are strong.  No one has the right to abuse you.  Violence is not a private family affair.  There's no excuse for abuse.

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« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2010, 01:13:52 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/nyregion/27orders.html?ref=nyregion

An article from today's New York Times about a high-profile case...
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« Reply #53 on: August 24, 2011, 01:52:07 AM »

I had a very hard time trying to explain the type of emotional abuse I received from the uBPDexBF. I found a great article on ambient abuse - which explains the unexplanable. The article also explains silent treatment, blanking, invalidation and withholding)

These types of emotional abuse are not always recognisable.

http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Physical_Emotional_Abuse/forum/6555196-ambientcovert-abuse
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« Reply #54 on: August 24, 2011, 05:04:44 PM »

I had a very hard time trying to explain the type of emotional abuse I received from the uBPDexBF. I found a great article on ambient abuse - which explains the unexplanable. The article also explains silent treatment, blanking, invalidation and withholding)

These types of emotional abuse are not always recognisable.

http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Physical_Emotional_Abuse/forum/6555196-ambientcovert-abuse

Good article.

You know, movies like Sleeping with the Enemy and Enough, the abusers are so ick.  Julia Roberts and Jennifer lurchlookalike are doing everything they can to GET AWAY and you absolutely agree with them.

I didn't feel like that, like running.  The abuse was like in that article...subversive.  The blanking, the silent treatment, refusing to talk.  I still don't think it's knowingly intentional, as in, by george I'm going to get her back in line.  I think he learned it growing up and it just comes naturally.  barfy
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« Reply #55 on: September 06, 2011, 10:51:49 AM »

I've been wondering what the success rate of relationships is for males with female pwBPD vs. females with male pwBPD.  As a female I do not believe that I could overpower any man who tried to attack me, nor do I feel as if I could successfully attack a man.  I know that women have the ability to physically hurt men, but I think men have the power to hurt women to a greater degree (mine could kill me with his bare hands if he wanted to).  While neither relationship is easy, it seems like its more dangerous for a female to be in a relationship with a male pwBPD - this may simply be due to the fact that I'm a female, and I'm willing to acknowledge that - I just want to see what perspectives other people have.
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« Reply #56 on: September 06, 2011, 11:23:36 AM »

I suppose it depends on your definition of dangerous.

If you are thinking strictly in terms of unarmed combat then you are probably right for most couples.  Of course there are women who have killed or seriously harmed men using weapons.

If your definition of dangerous includes non-physical interactions then not so much.  Both men and women have equal power to inflict mental and emotional damage, sabotage lives, etc.

The weapon of choice for destruction is often the power of the courts.  I would guess women are more successful (certainly initially) with making false accusations that lead to arrests or not being able to be with our children etc.  It can cost huge amounts of money and take months if not years to straighten this stuff out if it ever gets cleared. 

Success rate is a statistic and unless it is either 0% or 100% then it is immaterial for a given individual.  The real question for everyone is will their relationship be successful according to their definition of success.
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« Reply #57 on: September 06, 2011, 12:11:37 PM »

You're right, it certainly depends on your definition of dangerous and your definition of success.  For me I'm thinking purely physical danger, I feel like I've gotten so cold and hardened that the emotional abuse can't hurt me nearly as badly as what could be done physically.   
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« Reply #58 on: November 03, 2011, 10:56:55 AM »

RCA212,

I feel almost the opposite.  My BPD dad beat me regularly as a child, and my bpd mother (great pair), often at her urging and provoking.  But even after he stopped (which seemed to coincide with me going to Jr High where the bruises would be notice in gym class, hmmmm) I was terrified of him, and her both.  I wanted and needed their love an approval, and withholding that and emotionally scarring me seems to have done far more damage to me than basic physical pain can.  Now, I have been terrified a few times when my dad would get the blank, disconnected, soulless look in his eyes, like a warning light went off and I knew I'd better be ready to run to fight back, but I did manage to drag him off from throttling mom the last day we all lived under the same roof, before the divorce.  But, even though she was physically weaker, Mom was a slapper, and if you are a child, then both mom and dad can over power you - it doesn't matter if it's a male or female - some adult is beating you with a belt or slapping you around for having he wrong look on your face. 

ubpdBF has a scary temper, but he has never hit me.  He will hit everything else in creation, and break things, and I really don't want to have to fight him back, partly because I think I have some PSTD which when triggered means I strike first, run, then ask questions.  I've been startled by friends trying to surprise me as a joke, and I am afraid I knocked one over without thinking because he scared me. 

I agree that women can play the victim better in court, and I am not knocking those who actually are victims.  I am talking about those like my mom who can be weepy and pathetic about being beat, but during the time were shouting that their husband wasn't a man, that he couldn't hurt her, to go ahead and do it, look at you, provoked by a woman, so on. 

Verbal and emotional abuse comes in all shapes and sizes and genders.  Words don't need physical stature to hurt and still ring in your ears years later. 
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« Reply #59 on: December 19, 2011, 02:22:44 PM »

I agree that the capacity for a person to do harm is not necessarily based on their size or gender.   I think it has more to do with their own intentions-- what kind of violence it is.  In my own experience with a BPD male (who was much larger and stronger than I), he was more often violent to himself (punching himself in the face, punching brick walls until his knuckles bled, and then saying it was my fault, etc...), then he was violent to me.  When he did hurt me it was not in order to cause me serious physical pain so much as to scare me.  Often he did it when, during some ridiculous argument, I would get fed up and tell him I was going home.  His abandonment anxieties would provoke him to run after me and slam me against a wall or slam me onto the floor, so as to prevent me from leaving his apartment.  He did however, injure me quite seriously on one of these occasions.  And of course, emotionally I was traumatized, was later told by my therapist I was probably suffering from PTSD.

That being said, I think that while he did not usually cause me real physical injury during his rages, the knowledge that he was so much larger than me made me absolutely terrified of what he MIGHT do, and I imagine this size imbalance might often make the plight of the woman dealing with a male BPD more difficult than vice-versa.  My ex-BPD was often totally out of control, and there is no way I could have defended myself against him, had he really wanted to hurt me.  After we'd gotten back together following a 6-week breakup, he managed not to be violent to me for a couple months (but was still prone to punching himself and saying it was my fault).  The first time he resumed physical aggression to me, I left him for good.  We only were together for only a year, so who knows how bad the violence could have gotten.  (And, in the spirit of honesty, I should confess that I slapped his face on three occasions, albeit rather weakly.)
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