Showing posts with label abuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label abuse. Show all posts

Aug 23, 2013

4 years on and blogging

I have three blogs, did I ever mention that? They are all different personal journeys(not in the schizo sense :) ) but I can't combine them.
I'll say one thing though, it helps much to pen down thoughts when they are in chaos.

The first one I started was a journal of our pain, it was a record of the abuse. I used it to help myself draw a picture of the pattern of abuse because that seemed to be the only way to make someone understand and see what was not right. It's not been touched for a while now. That's a good thing.

When I started reading blogs it was in the hope of finding help and what can I do?. T here was nothing much locally, lots from overseas. It helped to know my problem was not unique and not totally hopeless.

This one here is my second blog, started a few months after the first, it was more for my personal feelings (in poetry sometimes) and thoughts of those trying times when I had to find my Courage and create some heaven now (July 09).  We lived with a Volcano, and there was much Inner Struggle (Aug 09) and the Frustration with Family a tiny nutshell.

But there were moments of light and moments to sing (Sep 09). I worried but Believe me when I say I had divine help with timing, connecting and arrangements that just fell into place during the transition. Things beyond my control were taken care for me.

As I read back, I think - thank God it is over but thank God also for the blessings of miracles that accompanied the period of upheaval.

This blog is now more  about what goes on deep within - my head and my heart, many thoughts and feelings which I cannot openly share.

My third blog, is the me that I can share with the world as me but more as someone's daughter, sister,  friend or mother and Godma. It's the me that does not talk about the shadows and the past but the life I have moving forward. That blog identifies me.  If you do connect the two, don't give me away please (email me).

Only a handful know my inner story in Blog 2. Fewer still know my inner struggles in Blog 1.. but I hope somewhere I have helped someone who may have been in the same deep dark hole as I had been.

Oct 20, 2011

Why did I not get out?

I was waiting for a miracle. I prayed for help, a way. I suppose in the deepest deepest part of my mind I had this everlasting hope.

choppy waters, rocks aplenty...
But my prayers were not to be answered so easily or too soon. The abuse, the narcissistic behaviour began a long time ago and I suppose another reason for hanging on was the hope that he would mature and change.

But that was not to be even as I carried my first child. I was treated no better or differently. But still I hung on. I am Catholic and as much as I think myself a grade B- quality type of Catholic, deep down my faith mattered , my vows mattered, the sacrament mattered. It would not be right for the kids. So I held on. Was it cowardly?

Imagine having to hold your breathe on your partner's reactions/response to soup that comes out of a familiar can; because that taste too is your responsibility. 90% of the time, nothing is good enough or well done or right ..
I didn't make it worse, I took on the meek role and stayed in the silence which grew longer and longer each time, but I couldn't make it better. Maybe if I kept the peace long enough, he would see?

After the third child, he didn't change for the better, he got more arrogant and his self-esteem did not improve with respect to me, more tyrannical, using the silent treatment permanently on me as his means for punishment and his physical temper emerged more and more frequently.  Sometimes I think he has a brain disease. And still I did not think of getting out. I prayed for wisdom too.

I got the courage to take out the protection order, not for myself but for the kids. When I think back I can't recall what pushed me to take those steps, did I plan did I think it through.... 
Hoping again that he would see (reality) what he had to do (a chance to try to hold this family together) and consequently would shake him and make him realize he needed help and advise for his behavior that was not right; that he would then attempt to salvage us all as a family unit.  But that didn't happen.  I once said that hope can be bad thing,  this is what I meant.

And so I wondered then what was the answer, I got up the courage to take ONE step, was it up to me to take the next and last resort, to break the vows, was that the way ?

But that was not.  In the end, it was he who did it. Why at this time, I can't figure?

But this seems to be that final answer to my problem and repeated prayer.

There are several thoughts that come to mind as I surmise what has passed:
I was meant to have three kids and not stop at one
There is a purpose for their being.
I was meant to take that extra journey of suffering, it made me stronger and to become a different person from the one who started out. My faith is stronger.
I have come to appreciate what normal means in most human natures - my tolerance is that much more for the range of human temperaments as nothing comes remotely close to the evil nature of my ex whom I have had to  survive with all these years.
Perhaps this is where fate is meant to take me.
This is where his guiding spirit led me.  God does not intervene until you give him permission and so he couldn't give me the miracle I asked for.

Aug 9, 2011

Having and being

As I read Eric Fromm's book I think about what's happening now, with the children in the middle.

Is my ex's goal to have the kids, to have power over them or is it because he truly loves them?  In this phase of 'no man's land' for the kids I have decided that I will do what is best for them (not back away, I can't do that to the kids), but at the same time I will not worsen the tense situations the ex creates.
To him it is about control and power and who wins, that's the way it has always been. There has never been gentleness or compassion before now, yet he displays it now in a very restrained fashion. I read the 'disbelief' in the kids' faces but I know they play a survivor's game, almost like 'keep the brute happy so he keeps calm'.

They have attempted to speak and he walks over them. Soon it will be settled and I have to be patient and so will they. He makes comments to the boys about what he believes I feel or what I'm doing to thwart him. All I'm doing is trying to balance their relax time and outing time. But the ex has strange thoughts that I'm manipulating them, when it is he who seems to be doing that on his time with the boys.
I know this because the boys convey some of these strange statements and comments my ex makes. 

He tries to grab as much of the public holiday time and keep the boys out all day.  The kids grumble to me but the boys have to speak up for themselves and I hope they find the courage to do it eventually.
It took me years, I cannot expect more from them.

Matt 14:27,31  
“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” ......
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Jul 19, 2011

Putting out fires

Sometimes I want to just shy away from the fight, to leave things be (hope for the best) and wish somebody else will fight my problems for me.  I have never been good at confrontations, perhaps a consequence of my strange marriage experience which keeps me running back to the corner now and then, (thank God it happens less frequently).

The ex  now appears to be drawing the kids' teachers into his battle plan. But not all of them, he picks the weaker child or the weaker subject and uses that to his advantage. He had gone to see a none-too favourite teacher of my youngest boy and since then, my son had been behaving antsy, in fits and starts I would hear strange statements made by this teacher through my son. And my first thought was 'no way, the  ex is not going to use a teacher to continue his bullying for him, and if this teacher is dumb enough to be influenced on heresay, then he deserves to be reported'. Then I thought about it and decided I would not jump the gun, I would go corner him and find out exactly his view of the situation, to see how his inclinations swayed.

I hate confrontations, eventhough this was not quite that, but it had to be done for my son's sake. After all, teachers have been instructed specifically to stay clear of family issues and ensure the child's well-being.
I gave him a surface 'lay of the land' and expressed my concerns as to the changes (negative) in my son's behaviour, considering that all seemed to be as well as could be in the past (same teacher for this subject) until recently (when my ex began to involve himself in the children's school and their study). The teacher went on about his methods and his wishes for the students and so on. I told him that was all good and fine until he used the word discipline. 'Discipline' is my ex's favourite excuse for his past abuse of the children. And when that word came up, I looked him in the eyes and said that sure it is important, but a child must also want to do it (persuaded to do so for the right reasons).

I did not wish to give him the full background just enough for him to understand, that the child dwells currently in a hostile environment,  that he(teacher) needed to watch where he tread, as there was a lot more than just a divorce affecting the child and I did not want my son retreating backwards dreading old experiences (before the protection order was applied).

The teacher must have gotten the idea, as he hastily seemed to assure me that he would certainly not touch on family situations but ensure the child's well-being where school matters are concerned, taking into account my concerns.

Jul 15, 2011

How do I protect them?

Since my post on Scheming or Caring, it's been more than a week and I don't think it's helping, because his old habits are still in him.

My instincts tell me that my youngest is going haywire and reverting back to the way he used to feel. While my Ex cannot use threats or the cane he still ignites fear; his presence makes them tense and they seem pressured over their homework and school stuff.
They are still afraid of his reactions to anything and everything. That's an old fear, eventhough this time round, the consequences are not what they used to be before.
But still so afraid.

There can be a irrationality about him(ex), and now I see/hear less,  I don't know how he speaks to the boys(he does more of that when I'm not around or within my oldest's hearing and how it makes them feel.  Is he exercising his narcissistic authority and 'power'(not physical but mental) in other ways, and is it being directed against the youngest boy now?
My youngest is starting to withdraw again, keeping away from his friends and acting 'more hyper'.

I can't seem to reassure them enough that things will work out, and until that time comes, I can only pray that God spares their anxieties.

It's emotional abuse and an even finer line. How do I make anyone understand?

May 21, 2011

Body and mind.. pushing ahead

"The unconscious mind picks up body language even when we are not consciously aware that it may be threatening." ( - Dr. Debby Schwarz Hirschhorn, PhD.

And because we remember those reflexes long after ...our bodies react the same way from before when threat was imminent.
Because the X is ultra sweet and ultra rational, the kids are less afraid but
as I have learnt from my child, the fear is not totally erased. Our minds and bodies still remember. There is still that ‘take flight’ response in us.

Why do I allow myself to be bullied?
I have come so far and still, I allow him this power over me.
Feeling afraid and feeling defensive to his verbal attacks and accusations.
I know I must take hold of my thoughts.
Break out of it, be aware always, in my mind.

I have been taking little steps to fight back, to take back that 'space' that I have ‘given way’; to take control where I can to face up to him; to stand up to his antics
and show him that I am no longer afraid of him; to assert but not in the usual communication form but by bringing myself forward visibly and audibly. And I can tell he is not happy (more and more, he raves and rants with either his lawyer or some person on the mobile, call me all sorts of names). But he maintains absolutely calm with the kids.

Logically I know it, but it’s not the same as having fully accepted or internalized the belief. But currently, I still am learning that he has no power over me. He uses accusations, and demands and the children to intimidate- interferes to disrupt(their peace) to exercise his power. It still affects me and my first response is ‘flight’ still. So I am dealing with it and this process (no matter how much I hate it and wish for it to be over)which started a while back, seems to be a necessary part of my journey.

Nov 25, 2010

Reflecting: I want to put it in the past.

Some of you have an idea but some of you don’t quite know what, just that something is not right in my life. But it doesn’t really matter.
Only that you seem to be there still following my thoughts which lately seem to be as depressing as 'Wuthering Heights'. I thank you for sticking.

There are lots of victims with their stories and each seems to seek solace or answers or help others or just find relief in the telling. I’m not sure what my telling does for anyone. Affirmation, validation I suppose that is why it all began. I was seeking for those in my first blog.  In this my second blog, it’s about recovery and struggle to put myself back together again.

I had not dwelled on being a victim. In my mind I do not want to be one. I just want to get passed it. I began writing about it, because I forgot the incidents and details. Am I so forgiving, or is that what they call nature’s defense mechanism against the problem.
The problem:description  [from previous posts and links with the article on emotional abuse and 'fear to strength'] comes close to a partial representation, add being products of a narcissistic husband and father. No sympathies please.

For myself I realized I cannot remember alot of it, even some of the most horrible showdowns I faced. I had written about some of the situations in the past, here and there on paper (past 20 years), in a notebook ..but not everything , and there is still a missing diary somewhere, I wish I had written more. I suppose it is not surprising that my older son too cannot remember the scariest moment of his life but I remember.

I have learnt that in the writing of it and the record of it especially over the last 2 years(and re-reading),  the reality and frequency and horror of the situations, has helped me acknowledge that we are victims, I am a victim.
Do I have to do more to accept it?  Am I done with it. It has taught me a lot about me. It has taught me what I should not be.  I need to stop second guessing my actions to protect us.

I want to MOVE ON.

Sep 1, 2010

Time to move.... (Part 2)

There seems to be a few different descriptions of this type of abuse .. but whatever it is, it is exactly that- abuse. The abuse has cooled almost deliberately, the kids have not forgotten but he is less present so is it. .
For a long while I had wrestled with it, is it a 'grey' area; I received no affirmation from the family services here. As I mentioned before, the system here doesn't  quite work for such 'family problems'.

The following articles from Suite describes much of it.....

Emotional domestic violence is the most pervasive form of domestic abuse, yet it can be the hardest to recognize. People who experience emotional domestic abuse don’t have outward signs of abuse like victims of physical domestic violence. Emotional domestic abuse is comprised of belittling talk, constant put-downs or criticism, lying and deceit, name-calling, social isolation, controlling behavior, threats of harm to self or others, blame for actions, and guilt. In many cases, an abusive relationship will escalate from emotional abuse to physical abuse. This is not to say, however, that emotional abuse is not serious in its own right; emotional domestic violence can cause long-lasting trauma.

* Dominance: Abusers want to feel that they are in charge. To achieve this, they often make decisions for themselves and their partners without first consulting. They do not consider the other person’s thoughts or feelings, and simply expect their decisions to be followed without question.  
* Embarrassment: Most abusers shame their partners in the presence of others, thus creating a sense of worthlessness in their victims. This is done deliberately so partners feel incapable of leaving. Thus, insults, name-calling and general disrespect are prevalent in many abusive relationships. Other less obvious tactics include chiding, ridiculing or undermining the victim’s capabilities.
* Separation: Abusers isolate their partners in order to create dependency. They typically keep friends and family away and may even prohibit partners from working or attending social functions. It is not uncommon for victims of emotional abuse to require permission to engage in activities outside of the home.
* Fear: Abusers frequently use fear tactics to push their victims into submission. They may threaten to hurt themselves, their victims, the children or household pets. In addition to verbal threats are intimidating looks and actions intended to signify that they are in charge.
* Blame: Abusers never want their actions named or confronted. To avoid this, they commonly blame their victims for their behavior. In other instances, abusive partners excuse themselves by saying they have a bad job, are experiencing pressure from work or home or do not feel appreciated. In other words, their actions are never their own.

To this end, the emotional state of an abuser often changes without notice. Therefore, he or she may be able to disguise verbal assaults or blanket them with later kindness. This makes the victim feel that he or she may have over-reacted to the initial incident. Thus, a vicious cycle of fear and guilt begins to form within the victim.

Signs of Emotional Abuse
Studies indicate that the after-effects of emotional abuse can be long-lasting and deeply-entrenched. Once they leave an abusive relationship, some women report an inability to trust. Others feel uncomfortable around people and fearful of how they are perceived.

Persons who are in emotionally abusive relationships often experience some of the following emotions:
* fear of their partner* general feelings of helplessness and anxiety
* desire to avoid certain subjects that may upset their partner
* compulsion to concur with their partner on all matters just to maintain peacejavascript:void(0)
* worry that their partner will suddenly become angry

 We are also products of  Narcissistic Personality.   (©1998-2004 by Joanna M. Ashmun.)

Dec 8, 2009

Ranting- moody, meloncholy, angry., frustrated..

WARNING: reading this post could seriously depress you.

Jealousy, envy lately ....  I have been thinking and comparing my life with others who just seem luckier, happier,  and much more comfortable with not a care in the world.
Generally feeling sorry for myself!.
Why me?
Trouble is just there hovering above, ahead, behind..

It's would be so easy to give it all up, run away. Have thought about dying. What if I had pretended that this was normal and let it be and just wait for the kids to grow up. What if I not rocked the boat.

But I could not - I have a responsibility to the children, they would suffer; don't I have a responsibility to my folks too?.  But they seem to be doing more of the looking out for me than the reverse.

I am tired of living with a sociopath.  I'm not being objective right now,  I know that, I'm looking at the jungle as a whole - a big mess.  I'll break it down once I've blown off steam.
There is a solution and yet not a solution, there are consequences and yet it will be better once I get over the next mountain. I believe that right now I am looking at the mountain.

Dear St Jude I'm still waiting for our peace of mind.

God does not give us more than we can handle, I hope that is seriously true......

Oct 24, 2009

A Journey from Fear to Strength.

I have some fears still but I have overcome much fear.  But as much as I would like to let them all out and 'release' them, I can't talk about it because my daughter reads my posts sometimes (yes u dear) maybe my son/s too.  I can't share more yet but you will get a gist of it.  Revealing anything more other than strength is not a good idea just now. They need to be strong for themselves, not for me.  I think I reveal more through my comments at others' sites. There are dark shadows in my life but there is light too.

When feelings overflow, it does come out in bits, now and then through some of my posts, [Volcano,  couragechild's anger, The bully ] when I'm upset, or angry, sad, or when there's a small triumph in  personal life. My role for my kids is to be strong for them, and seek out the best objective solution for them. My life for the last 20 years has been less than imperfect and I am working to getting it to just imperfect. The perfect life never lasts, I don't need it.

Joyce Meyer's Testimonial (Just Be Real) , The Narcissist and Janice's Diary ,  these blogs/ posts tell of realities that centre around  'abuse' and 'narcissists'.  In the last 20 years or so,  my kids and I have personally become acquainted with some of the painful experiences that these individuals mention. I have not slept a full night's rest for so long I don't really remember what it feels like anymore just a constant tired feeling.  The experiences of bloggers who have lived through so much more hardships, who are able to personally share (vent anger, realize peace, survive)  and comments from their supporters is heartening, it helps very much and keeps up my hope. 

I never talked about it, I hid my problem life so well. Why, because it was just unheard of in my circle. As I began to 'leak' a little of what  I faced with friends around me, I came to discover that we all hide something,  we seem to think everyone else has perfect lives and so we dare not reveal our unhappy lives. Everyone has different crosses to bear .  I was so uncertain, so afraid of the unknown outcome, blur of llines that were not quite black and white.  I was not a blogger nor a blog reader before I overcame the first major hurdle either, perhaps it would have moved me sooner.

About a year ago, I felt a 'bursting' feeling and there came a real shift within me, which came in the form of awareness and even a rude awakening through different close friends in my life. Finally being able to talk about it  had helped to push me forward, to be less afraid. 5 months ago I made that first move, for the past 4 months there has been some change for the better for my kids, we have come a long way, but we're not done.  5 months ago I couldn't talk about it without breaking up, but today I can.

What I have learned too about the social system of help, is that they can assure you some of the way but cannot commit all the way, it's only easy if it is definable in black and white, not for the grey.  Abuse is abuse isn't it, is there a question of how much or how little?  This is where naive me learnt a valuable lesson too and I will be more ready to face the next round if it comes to pass. 
It was just after the first milestone that I started this blog (healing). I had started an earlier blog  as a record of episodes in our lives; I believe that putting down the words also helped to precipitate action. But that remains private for now. Apart from the immediate problem, one precious element  that has been suppressed is self-expression and we are learning to let our minds fly free.

Where is my faith in all this, it's there deeper than it has ever been. I used to blame God but have come to realise all things happen as a consequence of our choices.  And so we need to deal with it the same way and not expect God to solve problems of our own making. When I thought (for years) I should be just praying and waiting for God to do something, he was actually pushing me to do something first, only I did not get that. As in Ted Loder's prayer (see sidebar) I desired to 'be bold'. I had to discover courage.   HE is there, and I know that.  At this stage, I still don't know what is God's will, we have come to a fork in the road, waiting either for God's move or man's. 

The bottom line is do what I have to do to improve the lives of the kids and yet make some difficult choices for myself . Mercy seems to be what God wants me to attempt so that I can say I gave (it) a chance for change. When the time is right to cross that line, I will know it,  and then I will know too that it is the right way to go.  As JBR aptly describes the emotions,  I too have not fully surrendered I have not learned how to yet. I am still climbing that mountain, (I forget sometimes) by myself.  His way has made me stronger. I pray that peace comes soon. For those who do not believe in God, call it what you want, but something greater has pulled me out of my hole.
For all those who have only darkness and no light, I pray that hope shines your way and that you will be able to step out of the shadows.

This quote holds a truth in the first part, we hope soon for the fullfillment of the second part.
If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be. -John Heywood

Sep 19, 2009

Discipline or abuse - frustration with the System

The issue of child/parental discipline appears to be very controversial.
There is no right and no wrong.
The 'Help' System in place does not provide a solution to grey areas - it results at best in vague support and an uncertain outcome.

Clearly Wrong = physical evidence or scars.
Right - nobody knows.
Everything else in between, harassment, mental anguish, verbal abuse, threats, instilling terror ...... is grey and subject to interpretation. The concern is if the children are in mortal danger AND as long as it is no, it becomes grey.
Inspite of the information documented that shows a picture of ongoing child abuse/violence, unless you are a judge or lawyer, counselors are apparently not tasked to affirm anything. They may know it but it is your decision. If you went their seeking affirmation and support to do something to help your children, don't hope to get it if it's more grey than black.
In the end it is you yourself who must press on with it (support from family/friends aware of the situation helps alot) . Each counselor at each stage pushes you on but will not affirm that there is unnatural behaviour. In the final stage another counselor who does not have all the facts cites it's 50:50 suggests an amicable situation to ironically spare the children. And so we are back to square one, where you hope for change but now you have the system helping you push the abuser to do something to help himself.
The good thing about putting yourself through this, is that at the end of this you are much stronger and less afraid.

In a family context, I say it's simple, the line should be be clearly defined and drawn by how the child feels toward the person delivering discipline. Is it fear or terror? Parent or mob leader. Definition should be determined by the consequence of the relationship between the two - child and parent.

Therein lies the problem. What this means is that the child has to be involved in the process for it to be proven. The system discourages it, of course so would any parent. But what is the end result - a hope stage that the abusive party will undergo counseling and change.

So if there is no change on the part of the abuser, the next step will involve the children won't it? Hindsight is now experience. There is no point going through the 'vague' system. Get a mouthpiece (lawyer) who will go through all the facts and interpret it as it should have been in the first place.

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