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Abuse Stories: A Dehumanizing Experience

Here is a story about verbal abuse from one of our readers:

Domestic Violence is a slow dehumanizing experience. I couldn’t even see it was happening. I wondered what was wrong with me. I thought it was abuse. I tried to get him to believe it was abuse. However, I should have just trusted my gut. I left him once, but I was embarrassed and I knew my religious parents would not accept my decision.

It started out with him dismissing how I felt. He was angry and yelled. I told him I didn’t like him yelling. I ask him to stop. Instead he broke the table into seven pieces and said, “He would show me what real yelling was like.” He continued to throw a fit and eventually stopped only after I broke down crying and apologized.

I was in the kitchen washing the dishes and I lived in Germany. The emotional, mental and verbal abuse was just a way to dehumanize me. Self doubt grew and the relationship dynamic began to change. It was not about a man and woman trying to care for each other. It was the first step of a man who wanted his way and nothing else. Had I known it would have led to me being repeatedly raped and abuse in every form. I believe I would have left. However, I thought he would eventually be able to change. The truth was never something he could admit. I was afraid of him and he didn’t consider that truth worth any value.

Later on in our relationship, it was little things. I was hungry and he would tell me I was not hungry. I was hurt and he would tell me I was not hurt or tired. I would ask to stop and go to the restroom and he would tell me to hold it. I was allowing myself to be controlled and IF I didn’t allow him to control me I would have to pay a price. He would withhold affection, if I didn’t do what he wanted. He would withhold money. He would withhold contact from my family. I couldn’t make phone calls home.

I worked and made money. However, I believed that the man should be in charge. I handled the finances but it was only IF he approved. He was terrible with money. So his commander actually told him to give me the finances and put him on a budget. I made about 15k and he made 12k. Yet, I couldn’t spend money except for $125 on groceries. He got $50 a week for candy, gum, and soda. This was not a choice. If he wasn’t allowed then he would throw a fit. We both got fun money for $50 a month. I saved mine up for 4 months.

The moment I finally decided to buy my item. He threw me down on a rock took all my money from my wallet. Handed me my drivers license and told me that was all I was. He took everything I had, tried to run me over with the car and abandoned me about 10 miles from our home. A soldier ask me if I was ok and asked if he should call the MP’s. I was disabled at the time and had difficulty walking for almost three years.

He knew that I couldn’t run. He felt powerful when he intimidated me.

Instead, I walked home because. I couldn’t take a cab. My husband who took my wallet with my credit cards and my money. By time I finally got home. He made me agree that I would buy a BOZE speakers with my money. I kept going for counseling, but no one explained it was abuse and I should leave. All I knew was, I hated my life. I was pregnant and knew that I was trapped. I could never leave. It was my wrong religious beliefs, pride and wrong mindsets that lead to wrong decisions.

It was at that point that he began to rape me. He used the Bible against me. The bible says not to withhold sex unless it is for prayer and for a short time. So now I had to have sex with him. Or he was allowed to go sleep with other women and it would be my fault. He had changed all of his actions. To only have consequences for me. He had no accountability for his lust of women or money. He would stare down women and then use me. I confronted him about lust and how it was not appropriate. His mouth would actually drop open when he looked at some women. It was difficult, because he was correct. I didn’t know his heart. But at this point, I knew he did not love me, he did not care if I was hungry, sleepy, hurt or lonely. Every need or desire I had would never be met.

Eventually, I became a mother and my children were my greatest joy. He decided to use them against me as well. I continued in church and raising my children. He went to Korea for a year. His sex addiction grew. I finally filed for divorce when my church support me in filing for a legal separation.

My daughter was in second grade. He had just returned from Korea. I and my son were both sick. He had been verbally and physically rough. But he force me to have sex with him. While he watched my daughter play with our neighbors granddaughter. She was outside watching my daughter and her granddaughter while she sprayed her plants. He said he loved her and wanted to watch them play while he forced me to have sex. I felt so sick. I had already gotten a counselor. We had doctor who worked with the sexual prisoners at the jail. He came to our house each week for 1 hour. He would not even come to the counseling session. I filed for a divorce. IF only this would have been the end. I had good alimony and full custody. But I was afraid.

He decided to see another counselor. So I stopped the divorce and we moved back to Kentucky. Where he basically, bid his time trying to drive me nuts. He had affairs and went to counseling with our pastor. But it was all a lie. He had a girlfriend he kept at his sisters and he still was out at bars. HIS sex addiction was a major problem. I didn’t think it involved anymore children, but I didn’t know.

He was grooming some of his nieces. I spoke to a counselor and she explained to me what he was doing. My mother confronted him for running his hands over his nieces breast in-front of her. Then he tried to convince me that his niece had never been at my moms. I knew she had been. I started noticing little things. I was in the pool and instead of carrying me around the pool or having any fun with me. He would carry his nieces around the pool and normally two at a time with his hands between their legs. He kept saying nothing was wrong. The were about thirteen and eleven. I was getting sick to my stomach.

The verbal, mental, and psychological abuse was a normal pattern. I remember he went out with his girlfriend and sister and I told him I was going. I went with him, but I didn’t have the guts to ask if they were dating. My son told me they were having an affair. I really was just concerned about my daughters and nieces safety.

My niece told me he made her uncomfortable. So I told her to tell a counselor. I told my counselor. She reported him to the cabinet. This investigation began in May 2005 and as soon as my husband got the paperwork. He filed for divorce and tried to have me declared of unsound mind. Legal abuse had occurred when I filed for divorce in Washington. But his lies were of no consequence to the case. The Kentucky divorce was built on so much perjury. He went to my work. I lost my job, my house, my kids. The school where I worked didn’t believe him. I had a restraining order, but he broke the order on the day I was volunteering at my school.

We got back together in June. He continued to lie in the courts. It was all about control I thought. We worked with counselors again. He didn’t care about me, the kids or what was best for them. I went with the counselor to the house. She pointed out that he could not continue to lie to his family. He had to admit to the affair and tell them what had occurred. He told me that he had full custody of the kids and I needed to return them to him. My counselor rode with me to take my children back to our house. I had an apartment that I had moved into in April. My parents had moved into it because their house was being built. I could believe that he really didn’t care about the children. He was all about winning. Or what he believed was winning.

I went in to talk with him and left the children and counselor in the car. She had come to persuade him. My son was sick with worry and she was very concerned for his well being. I went into the house alone and he tried to call the police on me and I grabbed the phone. Then he threw me against the dresser. My arms were swollen my back was messed up. He was thrilled with excitement, he ran to another room to call from the house phone. I went outside and My counselor told me we would have to leave the kids there. Or we would be breaking the court order. She took me to the hospital.

This was the first time I finally reported the physical abuse. They took photos and did a domestic violence exam. I couldn’t protect my children from him. The divorce court never could see the facts about the abuse. The court did something about the physical abuse. They gave him 22 weeks of anger control classes.

My divorce took about three years. He took me back to court to stop his pension and say that I owed back child support. The legal abuse has yet to be acknowledged by the court. However, I just learned that I need to see a victims advocate and point it out to her. The divorce court will not acknowledge it. I didn’t know that this whole time I was going to the wrong court about the perjury.

I won’t share the horrific stories. But I will say that I finally learned who he truly was during the divorce. While I was in the hospital. He called and instead of ask about me. He spoke to the social worker. All the abuse he had done to me. He basically told the story with him as the victim. So he definitely understood what he was doing was wrong.

His sex addiction and his issues with children were investigated but she said nothing could be proved. She pointed out to me that they knew men had broken children’s arms and unless the man admits to the wrong nothing happens. I was very gullible to believe that it would be substantiated. During my counseling I had asked my husband why he hid his brother raping the babysitter and molesting his two step sisters. I was enraged that he would hide the information. Even today, I have not yet told my children about their father. However, this is my first step. My counselor told me to start telling the truth to people. I really do not want to tell my children. However, I believe they should at-least know. They are adults now and my granddaughter is my concern.

I also decided to finally go forward regarding the legal abuse. I figure the recurring rape is not something I want to pursue. But I honestly would like for all of it to be told. I listen to Joyce Meyers story and I think how it helped me to grow. I was sexually molested when I was in 8th grade by a group of guys. Plus later, I was raped by a boyfriend and then a stranger. It really changed me. I am not powerless. The truth does set us free.

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Downhill Battle: Teenager Post Abuse

There did seem to be a downhill battle with my daughter after divorcing a narcissist/abusive ex. You can really see the spiral downhill and how we were unable to turn it around in this story. Our daughter has become extremely irrational and unreasonable to converse with. Ugh! I did exactly what I said I shouldn’t do and argued with an extremely irritating 17 year old.

You may have ready my previous, Resentment Only Harms Myself, where my daughter had a difficult sophomore year.  Her childhood has been filled with so much hell and craziness that she really didn’t need. Sometimes I feel that we are to blame, but I know some of this behavior by my ex-husband has always been beyond my control. However, some of her decisions as of late have been brought on by her own decisions and poor choices.

Post originally written on June 25, 2016:

Background

In the Beginning

During a young age, she dealt with my ex-husbands erratic behavior along with my emotional responses to his awful behavior.  Until I found Alanon, I would often respond to him by yelling and screaming because he was getting DWI, coming home drunk, or not coming home, lying all the time.  No matter how I approached him, nothing would ever change, and eventually I became more irritable and unreasonable. Plus, whenever I would blow up, then he would say, “Look how you are behaving, look how crazy you are acting!”.  Worse, I would feel guilty for my reaction. The reason for my initial anger was justified, however when I yelled back it was like giving away my power.  Also, he knew that and would use it against me.

Breaking Point

When my daughter was around four, I remember we had the biggest argument about her fourth birthday party. He wanted to have alcohol and I was convinced this party was for little children.  It really hadn’t occurred to me that he had a problem with drinking at that time.  Once I found Alanon, I began learning that it was like he was throwing the ball and I kept picking it up and throwing it back to him.  Eventually, throughout time I learned to stop picking up that damn ball. When he would throw the ball (words, ignoring, lying, breaking promises) I learned to let it go on by without responding.  I made many mistakes, but I also learned that his behavior was unacceptable and I did not have to continue tolerating it.  By the time she was nearly five, I was buying my own house and getting a divorce.

Divorce

Being divorced from him was harder than being married to him and he made sure of that.  He found a woman who moved in with him shortly after I moved out and I had hoped he would focus on her and leave me alone.  No such luck!  He continued to be harassing and abusive for many years and still does.  Worse, he always used our daughter as a pawn. It would take me many years to learn to talk to him as little as possible.  He is so awful, to this day, I can’t believe how manipulative he is and how hateful he is.

Physical Complaints

Between the ages of four to nine, she complained of her vagina hurting and I would take her to the doctor.  They could never figure out why she was having this pain. One time, her father dropped her off and she crawled under the bathroom sink, screaming that her ‘tee-tee’ hurt.  I called her pediatrician, show said, “If you do not call CPS, then I will.”  So I let my ex-husband know I was calling because I was afraid he would be worse if I didn’t.  I was still so afraid of him at this time.  Plus, he was always threatening to take my daughter away and I was so fearful he had the finances to pull it off.

During this time, my attorney told me to record their conversations.  That night he talked to his daughter and I recorded the message.  He said, “You tell mommy we went straight to gymnastics and back, you tell her that.” When the police officer was filing the report, I remember she raised her eyebrows at that response.  He continued to be difficult after this and my daughter continued to complain about her vagina hurting. The only time she ever complained was after visiting her father.

To this day, I still do not have any answers for why this happened and it suddenly stopped when she was nine years old.

Emotional Abuse

My ex-husband used to interrogate her every time she would visit.  Asking about everything we did, if any guys were ever over.  Then he would email me screaming about this.  Funny, he had a woman living with him at that time?  He also used to pull out all the stops in manipulation. Your mom is going to get mad at you, you are going to get in trouble with your mom, who knows what else…

Whenever she visited his house, she would get whatever she wanted and had no rules.  She could eat whatever and just really had no rules or boundaries.  I get it, he was ‘fun dad’ or ‘Disney dad’. However, he would make comments like we were the ‘food police’ or his wife said I was crazy.  He even mentioned this in a chat this week about his wife saying I had borderline personality disorder.  My comment back is “What business does an assistant teacher have in diagnosing anyone with ADD or any other medical condition.”

So all through my daughter’s childhood she would come home and resent the rules. As she got older, this only became worse.  This was every other weekend we would have hell when she came home for several days.  It was almost as if she had to detox from his house.  Plus, she has been struggling in school for years. It did not help that my ex-husband and his wife were undermining all our rules and working against us throughout her entire childhood.

We have continued to go to therapy.  One mistake I made was we stopped taking her a few years ago when we thought things were getting better.  This was such a mistake, especially when we learned she was cutting herself. She also hooked up with a bunch of friends earlier this year and they were lying all the time about what they were doing.  Eventually that friendship ended badly and all her friends turned on my daughter.

Poor Choices 

Now, she found new friends and was lying again.  I have been paying attention to this behavior and her dishonesty always made me suspicious.  Earlier in the year I installed a program on her phone called UKnowKids.  She was aware I had installed this app on her phone and I told her if she is trustworthy, then we would remove the app. She just really never was trustworthy.  So this app notifies you every time it scans questionable texts.

So a text came in that said, “Going to pick up ‘friend’s name’ and the bud and the rillo.”  So my husband and I were puzzling through this message because it could have meant beer or marijuana.  So, I asked my daughter if her friend smokes cigarettes.  She said, “I don’t know.” So, I asked does she smoke pot?  She said she didn’t know.  So I asked, “Have you smoked pot.”  She said, “No.”

Plus, she had posted a video on Instagram where it looked like she was driving.  She showed me that the phone reversed it, but it was still in question.  Everyone thought she was driving.  However, I looked at the pages of her friends who commented on that post and found her friend’s page.  Wow, this girl had a ton of selfies, but had pictures of her smoking a bong and cigarettes.  Then we noticed a screenshot of a user name for Periscope and the first video is one of my daughter smoking pot with these two friends.

Well, shit hits the fan, of course.

When I was a teenager, you could certainly say I was difficult and eventually grew up. Of course my path led me to marrying an abusive man and extra years of hell trying to co-parent with him. Now, we have a child that not only grew up in a household of divorce, but had to be subjected to years of emotional abuse. Plus, we added a blended family to the mix to further complicate the issue. I had thought we did a pretty good job, but there were high-conflict outside influences and behaviors at work too. My daughter didn’t deserve all this, but this must have happened for a reason. Perhaps some day she will be able to do something good with this situation.

 

Ignore the Crazy: Emotional Abuse

Lately, I have noticed I have received less emails from my abusive ex-husband… thankfully. However, more emails have been coming from his wife. Makes me feel he is sending his minion to do his dirty work. This past week, I was out of town traveling for work and I received this email from his wife. This confused all of us and still doesn’t make sense. Maybe it isn’t nice to call her a minion, but I truly wish she would open her eyes!

Actually, when I received this email I was rather confused. Isn’t our daughter 18 1/2 now? Doesn’t she have her own car? Aside from being confused, I wondered what was the trap. It does seem like my ex-husband and his wife are always scheming. I don’t think I am being paranoid. The decree states that she comes over on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend and she hasn’t been doing that for the past year.

Divorce Decree Email

[To Me]

For the remainder of this school year, 2017-2018 [daughter’s name] will keep to the schedule of visitations per the divorce decree. That will be as you know 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends of every month. She is used to the decree routine, so going forward she will follow those scheduled visitations.

It is imperative that school is her focus this year. She will need to be picked up and dropped back off at our/her residence each visitation.

[From said Minion]

A week ago, I just have a conversation with my daughter (via text) and she was a little mad at me for inviting her over to this house. She perceives that as pushing my husband on her. Really, I am just tired of trying to live this separate relationship. She had commented that having a relationship with her just wasn’t enough for me. My response was that I didn’t know how answer that and I would just say goodnight for now.

My Husband’s Response

None of this makes any sense to me. I am not saying my daughter is crazy in this blog post subject line. I am still confused as to what their goal was in sending that email. When I sent this email screenshot to my husband his response was this:

Just reply “ok”

Or “k”

If it was I would “ok b*$%*” but that is just me. Wonder why she can’t drive? Does she even want to come over? Weird right

I don’t think it is a game

Don’t worry they don’t follow the decree anyways

Perhaps their point was to send this while I was out of town? I had told my daughter I would be traveling and it is possible they knew I was out of town? Maybe I need to not tell her when I am traveling, for now. It does seem like these types of emails arrive while I am traveling.

My Friend’s Response

I had also sent this email screenshot to my best friend and she replied with these statements. There was a little back and forth from me that I won’t include. She was just as confused as I was about that email.

What’s this all about? Why did she send this to you? You don’t have to pick her up if you don’t want to. Plus that means that you will have her all weekend if she is willing.

They are wanting a break.

That’s it.

They never asked you to adhere to the decree. Meaning get her every other weekend. They made it her choice, correct?

Oh, I think they need or want a break. Desperately!

Even a judge would say that. Can’t force them.

Also, have you thought that maybe they’re going to say you’re forcing them to stick to the decree 1st, 3rd, and 5th. That maybe they’re going to manipulate the whole situation that you’re expecting her there every other weekend and that if she doesn’t that you’re going to take them to court. This could just be a game.

I wouldn’t write back to [said Minion].

I would go directly to [my daughter’s name] and keep it straight. your stepmother and dad want me to adhere to the decree. Send the email to her like you did with me. Proof that you’re not lying.

Then ask her what she wants because it’s up to her anways. She is 18 now. Even a judge would say they can’t make her go. That’s what happened to [her son’s name]. The judge didn’t force him to see his mom at 16, 17, and 18.

At any rate, it helped to bring in the ‘rational reinforcements’. The people who could read this email and end up with the same questions I did. In Alanon, they have a statement that says, “Your mind is a dangerous place, don’t go there alone.” When dealing with abusive people, they can get in your head, and twist your mind up. Suddenly you do not know up from down or right from left. Abusers and/or Narcissists are truly cunning and baffling. A year ago, he actually had my daughter believing I have been harassing him for all these years. They also say Narcissist will enlist others to be their narcissistic supply.

My Daughter’s Response

So, since my daughter is 18 now, I sent a screenshot of the email and decided just  to ask her directly.

Hi honey. I received this email from [said Minion] that said I need to pick you up 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends. You are 18 now, what do you want to do?

After our last conversation, this came as a surprised.

She responds:

It is fine with me cause I already only see you on some weekends anyways plus I really don’t appreciate how you are trying to pressure me into seeing [my husband’s name] when you know that is not what I want

My response:

So you do want to come over on weekends?

She responds:

If it’s only u and I there then yes eventually will

I am not sleeping over

My response:

Did you read [said Minion’s] email? She wants me to pick you up and drop you back off on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends?

She responds:

Yes for now that’s okay with me cause u r constantly trying to get me to see [my husband’s name] when I’ve said I only wish to see u. I think it’s to where you pick me up or u come to and we can get sushi or something

My response:

Honey, I am with coworkers tonight. We will have to talk about this another time.

Then three hours later I sent this:

Hey honey. You  are always welcome to come over anytime. I cannot ask [my husband’s name] to leave his home. You do not need to interact with him, but he will be here. You are eighteen now, I will leave this decision to you. I always love you and want to see you.

She responds:

I love u too

Confusion Remains

So, I still don’t have a complete understanding of their goal in this situation. It did not seem like my daughter was surprised that my ex-husband’s wife sent that email. In reading her email, it sounds like she wants me to pick her up on weekends. In reading my daughter’s response it sounds like she wants dinner on the weekend. My daughter also did continuously bring up my husband’s name even though I was not. There have been a few conversations on how we can move past this anger with my husband. My daughter wouldn’t even tell me why she was so mad at him.

My Response to the Minion

I am happy to pick her up and drop her off on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends. She is always welcome to come over, however [my daughter’s name] has requested that [my husband’s name] not be home on those weekends. It’s unreasonable to ask my husband to leave his own home.

I certainly want to take her feelings into consideration, so I can assure her that she does not have to interact with him during her visits. [My daughter’s name] is 18 now and I will leave this as her choice.

My Mother and My Daughter

My mother decided to give my daughter a call and asked her why she was so mad at my husband. Her response was that he had mentioned sending her to a girls home. I do remember that day when we were concerned if intervention was needed after catching her smoking pot and having to take multiple devices away from her after taking away her phone/internet privileges. She had an emotional outburst or melt-down might paint a more appropriate picture of that day. Our primary concern on that day was if we had an addiction withdrawal happening here. So I am not sure what my daughter thought he meant by that comment, but I understand what he was saying and we were both concerned if we needed an intervention.

So much has happened over all these years.

“Ignoring the crazy, keeps you sane.” by EYH

My purpose of posting these stories is for a few reasons:

  • Get it out of my head. In Alanon, we have a saying “Your mind is a dangerous place, don’t go there alone”.
  • Put it on paper. Writing it down as it happens helps me remember I am not crazy, this situation is crazy.
  • Give validation. Perhaps some people can receive validation by knowing they are not alone.
  • Receive validation. Sometimes I receive responses that help me know I am not alone.

 

Verbal Abuse Stories: Blame-shifting

Here is a story about verbal abuse from one of our readers:

I read this blog and it was like putting a mirror in front of me. I had never seen so clearly before what my ex was like…

I split up with my ex about 2 1/2 years ago during the death of my father. This was an incredibly stressful time in any case, my dad was extremely ill and wheelchair bound with cancer, my mother who has Alzheimer’s didn’t understand what was happening and was suicidal. My ex chose this time to ramp up the pressure on our failing relationship big time until we ultimately split, an event which he carefully timed for my birthday.

He then refused to move out of the house and used my fathers illness as an excuse to “blame me” for not sorting out the divorce quickly enough. Frequently he used to say “so your dad’s dying? I suppose that trumps everything does it, see how patient I am being” in a very sarcastic way.

A couple of months later my father did die in the early hours of one morning. I spent the day taking my mother to the chapel of rest to see him and sorting out a death certificate with my sister. On my exhausted drive home I was an hour later than planned. I rang him and he yelled at me because I had stopped him going out to a pub quiz that evening. Again I got the “Your dad dying is more important than me is it?”. Yes really.

It took a year after that before he finally moved out. During that time he spent every moment he could putting me down, refusing to sort out any of the finances or paperwork, and criticising my progress when I actually was able to do so. He tried very hard to ruin my new relationship, whilst embarking on his own and telling her she was the love of his life.

The bit that chimed most was the refusal to arrange anything for kids pick up or vacation. He is constantly refusing until the last minute to say which of us is picking them up, refusing to keep to regular agreed times on his side, won’t say yes or no when I try and plan to go on holiday… and so on.

Last week I finally saw the light properly and clearly. I was sent an email in which he accused me of making him angry by not getting angry, and that it was a form of my ongoing abuse of him. It was so bizarre and funny that I laughed, and suddenly realised I had still been looking for approval, still allowing myself to be put down even all this time after we were divorced.

Enough is enough. Somehow because he had never hit me I didn’t view it as abuse. I forgave the angry outbursts at me and the kids, the controlling behaviour, the constant put downs whilst positioning himself as a saint. I told myself over and over again he had changed, but he hasn’t. I don’t suppose he ever will. I feel sorry for his new partner but interfering would only open me up to more abuse.

Thank you for posting these thoughts. Thank you for helping me see I am not alone.

Will Verbal Abuse Turn Deadly?

weeping woman - closeup on eye with teardropWhen I read the story about Megan Short’s murder, it really struck home for me. This relationship ended tragically with her husband Mark Short shooting his wife, their three kids, their dog, and then shot himself. It was reported that this relationship was a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship. Physician violence has not been reported in this tragic situation.

The reports say the police had been called on more than one occasion and Megan’s family was aware there were problems. Megan Short was advised to file a protective order but she made the decision to leave the relationship instead. The day she was supposed to move into her own place was the same day her husband shot her, her family and himself.

The reports say on her Facebook page she clicked an article titled He Didn’t hit me. It was still abuse. This article tells a story about a verbally abusive relationship where there are no visible wounds. Movies and television show do a good job of painting a picture of domestic abuse as physical violence.

However, in the situation with Megan Short, they say she had never been physically abused but her husband wound up murdering the entire family. Just because the abuser has not hit you yet, does not mean he won’t.  I do not mean to paint a dark picture of emotionally abusive people, but I do believe they are unlikely to change. Just read Why Does He Do That by Bandcroft Lundy for more detail about abusers.

Another case that ended tragically was the case with Jessica Gonzales. She was able to obtain a restraining order against her estranged husband. The report does not state whether he was abusive or not. However, on one day her husband picked up the kid at her home without her knowledge. She called the police multiple times and asked them to go get her children. That day, he took them to an amusement park and then murdered the three girls and then fired on the police station and was killed. You can read more about this case at Gonzales Vs. Castle Rock.

I have admitted that my relationship with my ex-husband was domestic abuse, but then I say, “But he never hit me.” Why do I feel the need to state that? Why do I feel a verbally abusive relationship is less abusive because it was not physically abusive? Did he really have to hit me?

He prevented me from leaving the house, he used our daughter to control me, he threatened to take custody of our daughter, he kicked a hole in our bedroom door. His comments would constantly make me worry about what he ‘could do’ to me. When he was happy with me, it was ‘our house’ or ‘our car’, but when he was upset it was ‘his house’ or ‘his car that he let me drive’. Plus, his drinking and drug use often led to extremely unpredictable behavior.

The day I told him I was getting divorced I really believed he might kill me. After leaving him I do remember feeling so afraid to leave my house. His harassing phone calls and emails would consistently keep me on edge.  Then he would grill our daughter for information and then leave those messages on my phone. He would talk to my friends and try to get them on his side. I eventually stopped talking to them because I didn’t want him having any insight into my life. He has used our child as a pawn for so many years.

So, does it matter if they hit you? His verbal assaults were often damaging enough. If you are in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship and you are thinking about leaving, be sure to protect yourself and take extra precautions. Even if they have never hit you, think about safety first and read articles like Getting Ready to Leave.

Journal Entries from a Recovering Domestic Violence Victim

journal entries abuseI have begun writing a book because there must be a reason for this journey. Perhaps my book can help someone understand they are not alone and can help them validate their experience. Maybe a book will help someone avoid a few minutes or learn a few lessons quicker. This book will dig deeper into my insights and choices while with my abuser.

There is no understanding why I wrote this journal entry and then continued trying to have a relationship with this man. However, he was so good and making me believe the truth wasn’t what I saw. My journal post really says a lot, even though it is written from a victim’s point of view.  Less than a year later I would give birth to my daughter, I wasn’t pregnant yet when I wrote this entry. My old me just couldn’t stay away even though there was no absolutely no reason to stay with him. At this time in my life I was able to verbalize all that was wrong and there was no reason to continue subjecting myself to him. I believe during this time, I would rather have been miserable with him than miserable without him.

May 7, 1998

I just wanted to thank you, Sam. Thank you for showing what an asshole is. Someone who cares more about themselves than others, some who takes, yet does not give. Someone who chooses not to learn anything or feel they know everything.

Thank you for showing me what it is like to be used. Someone who takes and does not give, takes for granted, and makes not effort to try. By showing me using I have learned that is not something I will accept by someone nor will I deliberately do to other people.

Thank you for showing me unhealthy love. In a relationship that has so many problems that it exhausts energy more often that giving any. Thank you for showing me manipulation, of one form, making promises that are not kept. Saying things for your own benefit rather than that of others. That it is selfish to think of your unhappiness without the other person, than their happiness without you.

Thank you for showing me things I want in a man, yet more than I do not want. Thank you for giving me that strength from experiencing something I do not want. I cannot thank you for my ability to hate, the anger that takes a while to heal and burn out.

Thank you for this rotten experience of love, pain, using, manipulation, and anger. From all these things the experience and change it brought to me, hopefully I have learned to be a better judge of people. So I will not wasted time with anything that is wrong, so I can learn eventually be the right. Thank you for being a person

Reasons my Daughter Chooses to Cut

self harm rose thornsSo today, I was in the car and Johnny Cash song Hurt came on the radio.  This song was originally written and sung by Nine Inch Nails. When I was younger, I listened to that album over an over, and  I must have heard this song 100 times over the years and never paid too much attention to the lyrics.

Today, when I heard the first few lyrics it made me think of reasons my daughter chooses to cut herself. Songs are interesting in that way, we all hear different things based on our personal experiences. So the verse, “I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel” just makes me think about reasons someone cuts.  It is suppose to be a release to strong emotions.  Some deep emotional pain that could have happened many years ago. The pain could be so deep that my daughter may not even be aware of it.

I do not believe my daughter has cut lately, but from what I understand is this is not something to be taken lightly.  She still needs to dig into whatever emotional pain is driving this need to self-harm. I will certainly help her get all the support she needs and continue researching the topic to gain a better understanding.

There are so many articles about the reasons why people cut themselves. They say that cutting is a temporary release from deep emotional pain.  They also say that the cutting itself can become an addiction. I had not realized how many young girls are cutting today, this is more common than I would have ever thought.

According to Song Facts about this song Hurt, they say “This song is about realizing consequence and regret. It sends a powerful message that we should all proceed through life wisely, because there is nothing worse than being stuck with a label, a pain, a sickness, or a death, that we know beforehand will leave us only wishing things had been different and that we could change the choices we made.”

Johnny Cash certainly dealt with some struggles and addictions.  The movie Walk the Line shows that his brother died when he was younger and there were struggles with his father that happened over many years. So pain can stay with us a long time.  I also know this because of the struggles I had with my father throughout all these years.

It still very much pains me that my daughter is cutting and I really hope her therapist can eventually help her figure what emotional pain is driving this need to self-harm. I will continue to research the reasons why girls cut to continue gaining understanding about this issue. My mother had told me many years ago that one of my younger cousins was cutting herself.  Unfortunately, after speaking with the school counselors and our daughter’s counselor, this is not as uncommon as one might think.

Do you have any thoughts on this topic?

Here is the full lyrics from Google Play:

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar’s chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

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Journal Comments from 2007

Over the years I found it was helpful to write journal notes and email them to myself, that helped me keep the emails and my thoughts in chronological order.  We really do not have any answers or definite explanations for these kind of complaints that occurred during a five year span. My gut instinct is that something happened, but I may never know the truth.

Email Journal Notes to Self
on December 10, 2007 6:46 pm

Our daughter came home from her father’s house last night and did not have any complaints.

Today the nurse and our daughter’s school called me because our daughter was in her office crying. Our daughter said her vagina hurt and she felt like it might bleed. Then after she went to the bathroom the nurse said she was fine and wanted to go back to class.  She said she could call myself or her dad.

The nurse requested I take her to the doctor because she was so tearful and speaking of blood.

I drove her to the Pediatrician’s office directly after school. She did a urine test. Her urine came back clean. They are sending it off for further testing.

The doctor asked her a few questions about her pain and asked me if it could possibly be from masterbation. I said possibly but we had discussed it to the point she felt comfortable and we talked about avoiding that until we find out what is causing this.  She said she felt our daughter may be using masterbation to relieve stress.

I asked our daughter if she had run water on herself and she said no.  I asked if she was rubbing herself and she said no. I told her it was okay if she was but that would be helpful in the case that was causing the pain. I left a message for her father and he called back while we were int eh car, I wasn’t really ready to talk to him about that at the moment.

Our next therapy session was not until January 8th but I called Chris today and we are going in tomorrow.  Chris pretty much said until our daughter is ready to reveal what is causing this we may not find out what it is.

I purchased a journal for our daughter to write all her thoughts. I told her she could put it in the box I gave her that locks because it is a private place to write all her thoughts. She was very excited about writing in the journal and wont’ stop LOL.

Resentment Only Harms Myself


watercolor butterfliesThis has been a rather challenging week with my daughter.  I feel pretty resentful towards her father for his response or lack of response to this situation.

They say that resentment is like swallowing poison, but hoping someone else will die.

This week:

  • Received some messages that mentioned ‘bud and rillos’, red flag
  • Daughter posted video on Instagram that looked like she was driving and running a red light
  • Friend commented on video and found surprising photos on this page
  • Friend’s page led me to Periscope where the top video was one of my daughter getting high with two friends
  • Daughter comes clean about this, loses phone & internet privileges
  • Next day, gets caught sneaking an old iPhone 4 that belonged to her cousins
  • Next day, gets caught connecting to the internet on an Kindle reader
  • Same day, has a complete melt down over rules and being grounded
  • Claimes, she is 17 and can choose which household she wants to live at
  • Calls ex-husband who starts ranting at me about this
  • My husband talks to ex-husband and gets a few things through
  • Ex decides to pick my daughter up, effectively giving her what she wants
  • Although I told my ex-husband this was a bad decision, I did agree to help diffuse the situation
  • Daughter does call to apologize for how she behaved from her dad’s house
  • She is coming home today at 3pm and her grounding will start over

All of this was certainly crazy stuff.  My daughter could just be experimenting, but all the other lies of course leave room for doubt and concern. This of course makes me wonder if her grades were really due to ADD (something my ex-husband believes) or if this association with pot smoking friends and engaging in that sort of behavior is the true problem.

Given that we found out earlier in the year that our daughter was cutting her leg and now to find out she is doing drugs and admitted to drinking are all big concerns. Obviously I am concerned about the behavior, but mostly what to do about the underlying factors that is making her choose to do these things.

Obviously she is struggling with her pain, choosing friends who aren’t making the best choices, going along with these decisions, and then chooses to lie about all of this even when confronted.

Dealing with my ex-husband is beyond challenging.  He even told her at age 17, she could choose where she wants to live.  First of all this is not completely true.  Yes she can have input at 17, but the courts are still going to decide where it is best for her to live.  My ex-husband is pretty permissive in his parenting style. Plus, this would cost $50-70k, take about a year to go through court, and she will be 18 in less than a year.

She gets caught smoking pot and lying about it about a week ago.  Last week my ex-husband is ready to get her into get her drivers’ permit.  What???  She just got caught smoking an illegal substance, the video we saw certainly looked like our daughter was driving the car when they ran a stop sign.  Even if she wasn’t, the friend was high when they filmed this video, while driving. Plus, they posted this video not only for me to be able to find, but for the entire world to see.

You never know if that stuff will go away or resurface later.  Most of these friends blame my daughter because I found out.  It was really that they were all being stupid and posting evidence.  I just happen to above average tech savvy, so when honesty was a big question, I started digging a little and it didn’t take long to figure all this out.

The tamper tantrum she threw on Monday was huge and she was acting like an addict.  If not for pot or alcohol, certainly have difficulty being able to stay away from her phone (other devices) for even 12 hours.  Then as we said, by my ex-husband agreeing to pick her up, basically gives her what she wants. What happens the next time she disagrees with her consequences?

Straight up, my daughter does not like to be told what to do.  Part of me would send her over to her father’s house due to the constant fighting and refusing to follow the rules.  However, I think that would be so much worse for her since he bad talks me and gives her whatever she wants.

Resentment is like swallowing poison, but hoping someone else will die.  So resentment only hurts myself.  I need to continue to make the right parenting choices, continuing to resist reacting, and keep being consistent.  I do know, I will support my daughter until she is 18, but if she doesn’t straighten up, she will be on her own after that.  She is too disruptive right now.

My Daughter is Cutting

cutting self harmYesterday, I found out my daughter has been cutting herself. When I saw her, wounds I just covered my face with my hands and my eyes immediately began to tear up. As quickly as my tears began to flow, I somehow managed to stop and just talk to her. I just wanted to be supportive to her and figure out what to do next.

She asked me if something happened with her father all those years ago and my answer was that I just do not know. I do not have any evidence that nothing happened anymore than I have evidence that something did happen. The fact is I do not have all the pieces to the story, and my daughter does not remember. Clearly there is a big problem here, and her emotions seem to be coming out sideways.

So I called the counselor we used to see a few years ago, and she remembered us and the backstory. She also happens to specialize in adolescence who cut. The good thing is my daughter and her counselor already built up a rapport and my daughter likes this counselor. It sounds like my daughter is ready to deal with the pain.

It was huge that my daughter told me, and I know that is the first step towards healing. My feelings are so mixed, between feeling like it is somehow my fault or that I should have figured this out sooner. I know the relationship with her father is extremely unhealthy. About three weeks ago I wrote a post titled An Abuser Doesn’t Change His Spots that detailed a recent encounter my daughter had with her father. She said it was that day she started cutting again. Her relationship with her father is very emotionally abusive.

Apparently she has been cutting off and on for about three years. Right now she has about 20 cuts on her upper thigh. It was awful seeing all those cuts because I know they represent her pain. I truly wish we hadn’t stopped going to counseling when my ex-husband started harassing us a bit less. I was under this impression that we were all healing, but I was wrong.

We found some razors in the bathroom that had a portion of them removed to expose the blade. This is how she was cutting herself. The wounds are not terribly deep, but they do look painful. We are going to see a doctor tomorrow to see what we can use to heal these visible wounds. Perhaps she can start the journey healing her inside at the same time we heal her outside wounds.

It is huge that she made the decision to come forward and admit what she has been doing. I know that is the first step towards recovery.

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