Tag Archive | abusive ex-husband

Healing from Invisible Wounds – Emotional Abuse

I think one of the greatest issues I have had to overcome is healing from all the invisible wounds.  The scars left from the verbal and emotional abuse seem like they often ran deep into my core.  My first emotional abuser was not my ex-husband, he was my father.   So this is where the abuse cycle began for me and somehow I married a man who behaves so much like my father.

I believe my daughter is finally able to see my ex-husbands behavior for what it is.  She has to go to his each summer for (2) two week periods or for the entire month of July.  Her step-sister is going to her mother’s house from the end of June to the beginning of August.  So my daughter and I discussed the possibility of her staying for the entire month of July so she won’t be as bored.  Initially she thought that was a great idea and had planned to discuss it with her father.

Maturity & Awareness
However, when she came home from that weekend visitation she told me she didn’t think she could handle 30 days straight and really needed a break.  I was very surprised by the maturity of her response and simply replied, “Fair enough.”

When she came home from her father’s house this weekend I gave her a hug and said I was glad she was home.  I asked her if she had a good time.  Then I asked if there was anything she needed to discuss with me.  She said, “Nothing worth talking about.”

Are we out of the woods yet?  I seriously doubt it.  However, I am very moved by her mature responses   As much as I dislike my ex-husband’s abusive behavior, I do not want my daughter to hate him.  I doubt she could even if she wanted to.  I do want her to learn to understand him well enough to plan her comments and responses better.   It would truly shock me if my daughter could explain her father’s behavior anymore than I can.  His behavior is often beyond reason.

Planning Comments & Response
One thing I have been working on with my daughter is teaching her how to plan her comments with her father.  For instance after the entire cell phone issue where we thought he had bugged her phone.  We decided electronics were not to be taken back and forth.

So when she was at her father’s house she said she wasn’t allowed to take home the Nintendo 3D DSI because my husband and I said not to.  Well that immediately had her step-mother and father upset about that.  Never-mind the fact that my ex-husband was the one to originally make this rule that nothing comes back and forth.

Encouraged to Lie
So her step mother actually advised her to bring the Nintendo in her backpack and take it to school and just not tell us about.  Basically encouraging our daughter to lie to us.  Amazing!  This woman is an assistant teacher at school in charge a little kids.  Honestly, where are her morals.

My daughter told them no and then told us what they had asked of her.  We told her that we were very proud of her for saying No and for telling us.  We said that was a very mature thing to do.

So I did advise my daughter to be more careful with what she says to them.  I told her in the future she could avoid some of these conversations by planning her response better.  For example, if she had simply told them she wanted to keep the Nintendo at their house so it would be there whenever she came to visit that might have avoided that entire conversation.

Stop & Think
My advise to my daughter is to actually visualize a Stop Sign in her head and Stop & Think before answering.   She does want to be honest and I told her she can still be honest in her response and perhaps not give information to create this uncomfortable discussions.

I guess one of the things I am learning is to give my daughter the tools she needs to handle what she has to deal with.  By learning how to think before she replies she might be able to prevent some of the outbursts.  I no way can she control how they behave but she might be able to bypass some of the conversations.   It does seem my abusive ex-husband and his wife are ready to disagree with anything I tell our daughter.  So perhaps she should not say ‘My mom said’ and avoid the discussion all together.

I hope I am doing the right thing.  It is always hard to know when dealing with insanity of abuse.  My prayers are simple, please do not let my daughter go through years of healing from invisible wounds inflicted by her father and even myself.

Verbal Abuse Can Impact Any Relationship

I truly think God must have a sense of humor.  I am not completely rid of my abusive ex-husband or abusive ex-boss but it sure makes me feel fired up to write more about verbal and emotional abuse,  because awareness is key.

Verbal Abuse can happen in almost any type of relationship and anywhere;

    • in intimate relationships, marriages, or even families
    • at school with other kids, colleagues, teachers, and sometimes parents
    • at work with a boss, owners, management or co-workers
    • in customer service with utilities or other companies you pay bills to
    • debt collectors (these are among the some of worst)
    • by neighbors or people in your community
    • by friends or ex-friends

Emotional abuse is not limited to intimate relationships and can be found in all sorts of encounters throughout life.  Some of these situations are very short-lived like when you deal with an abusive customer service representative or perhaps a someone managing your affairs.  It is easy to not recognize these situations as abuse because they do not occur on the regular basis and it is easier to put them out of your mind.

Obviously, the vast majority of these situations would involve verbal or emotional abuse.  Of course, anything physical would allow you to take legal action.  No, this the type of abuse that is sly and usually done through words, actions or even the silent treatment.  Most verbal abusers have patterns and will often repeat these behaviors.  Almost anyone is capable of having a bad day, but these encounters should not be come the ‘new normal’.

Once an abuser or bully sets his target on you it very difficult to get out of the path.  Sometimes it requires you sever any connecting relationships in order to get away from the assaults.  Unfortunately, it is usually impossible to reason with these types of personalities.  Especially, if you are dealing with a narcissistic, sociopath or someone with a personality disorder who lacks empathy & remorse.

First example:
When I divorced my abusive ex-husband, it seemed he would use any kind of connection he could to get to me.  He would use anyone who was connected to me in order to pass messages or simply stir the pot.  You know, bizarre situations that seem to pull you back into the abusive insanity.  Where he is now talking to one of your friends and you being to wonder if they are repeating everything you say to your Ex.  Now that I have severed every possible connection, the only one he has left to use is our daughter, and he most certainly tries to use her as a pawn.

Second example:
When I left my last job, my boss would use my old co-workers to spy on me through Facebook or Linked In.  It was really sneaky and felt like stalking or rather ‘silent stalking’ (if there is such a thing).  All the while, he said nothing directly to me, but outright ignored me.  Even when I was trying to clean up connections since I was tied to almost everything within the company.  It really felt like I was getting divorced all over again on my last day.  Having to sit there while we removed my administrative access to everything.  Eventually, I disconnected myself from every connection we had in common.  Perhaps that was his personal goal?

Time to Say Goodbye
Unfortunately, some of these relationships become reoccurring and can make it impossible for you to ignore the abuser’s behavior.  Reoccurring abusive situations are often with a intimate partner, boss or management, or even someone in your own family.  If this relationship becomes one you cannot avoid and is effecting you emotionally, only you can decide when it is time to say goodbye.

Sources:

 

Daughter Secretly Texting Abusive Ex-Husband

Using Children as PawnsOkay, so over the weekend we had an incident with our 13 year old daughter not coming home when she was suppose to. Basically she was going out with a friend, to the mall and was suppose to be home at 1pm.  So, at 1:30pm I am trying to call and text her cell phone but she had it turned off.  She finally turns it on at 2:30pm to call and tell us she is running late and is on her way home.  They arrived home at 3:30pm.  So we had to have the conversation over responsibility and her turning off her phone was unacceptable.  She said she didn’t realized she needed to be home at 1pm and I challenged her on that.  I also said she should have let us know that she wasn’t at the mall that is close to the house.  So we decided to ground her from her iPod and phone.

The Plot Thickens
While we are sitting there with her & holding the iPod, the screen lights up with a text message and I was puzzled because I didn’t know she was texting on her iPod.  So I asked her to unlock it and we noticed right on the chat screen text messages to her dad and his wife.  Seeing the text messages wasn’t so bad as the fact that she appeared to be hiding this detail.  (Plus, we have had problems with this in the past which I posted at Abusive Ex-husband Texting Our Daughter.)  She later admitted that she didn’t intend to not tell us but decided not to mention it later.  Then comes the conversation about ‘Lying by Omission’ or ‘Lying through Actions’ which is the same thing as lying.

So officially I am my mother now.

Text Messaging Content
Anyways, we did look through the chats between her father & her as well as the ones between her step-mother and her.  The ones with her father were typical and had the occasional one-upping or a very subtle manipulative comments.  For example; she asked him if she was here or there during Spring Break this year.  He said you are at your moms.  Then he sends another text that says, “Don’t be sad.”  (What, don’t be sad to be away from him or here with me?)  She replies, “I wish I could be with both of you for Spring Break, but I get to see you next year.”

The chats between her step-mother were stranger.  It was like she was communicating with another 13 year old not a woman who is almost 50 years old.  Mostly comments about shopping and her step-mother asking her to send pictures of her new skirt.  Or that her father had just bought her another right from Jareds.  It seemed extremely age inappropriate.  On a side note, her step-mother told her that she needed to find someone rich like her father to marry.  (Really, is that what she really believes?)

Trusting Your ‘Gut’ Instinct
So, yesterday I looked in her settings because I wondered what apps have been installed.  I am not sure why I was looking, I just had this ‘gut’ instinct that there was something wrong.  I noticed her Bluetooth was on and there really isn’t a reason for it to be on as she doesn’t have one and it eats up the battery life.   As I was about to disable Bluetooth I notice it was trying to connect to a Blackberry.  Nobody in this house has ever owned a Blackberry phone.  However, her father use to up until recently when they got iPhones.  So this bothers me because there seems to be so much sneakiness going on.

Apparently my daughter gets teased if she doesn’t reply to his texts fast enough.  She also gets teased about texting me on weekends which has made her stop completely.  So this all bothers me.  When she is at his house she is not allowed to text me.  Then when she is here with us she has to keep in constant communication with both of them?  Certainly a double standard and some seriously manipulation going on with a 13 year old child.

So I am bothered by this Blackberry connection.  I know the Bluetooth settings do not seek out a connection like the Wifi does.  They do keep a memory of that connection.  So when she got home after school I asked her about the iPod trying to connect to a Blackberry.  I let her do most of the talking & thinking about why that might be.  Eventually she did say, “Well my dad use to have a Blackberry and so did my step-mother.”  She seemed very puzzled about this connection.  Of course I am really worried that she might have his old Blackberry upstairs in her room (hopefully not).  It wouldn’t surprise me based on his threats to get her a phone so he could keep in constant communication with his daughter.

We also thought back to the time when my ex-husband told our daughter that her step-father shouldn’t be saying specific names to her, I think he called her ‘tird’.  It took me a few minutes to figure out that obviously my ex-husband was reading her text messages.  (You can read that post under Abusive Ex-husband Reading Daughters Text Messages.)  So, now she is not allowed to take any type of technology over to her father’s house.  I also have told her that she is not allowed to bring any devices from her father’s house.  My ex-husband has made a career out of lying and is very good at it.  I hate the thought that he may be encouraging our daughter to be sneaky & not tell the truth (hence lying).

Examining My Motives
So, I am spending some time examining my motives here.  Do I have a problem with ‘him’ texting her?  I have never blocked my ex-husband from contacting our daughter.  I probably should have because of his constant manipulation, negative comments about me and that her own father is a really bad influence.  The secondary reason I should have blocked him is because it is clear she can’t handle texting him without getting a major attitude and her grades drop.  Do I have a problem with his wife texting her?  Not as much except that it does seem a bit creepy that an adult is communicating at a teen level.

I am pretty sure my daughter does not catch his subtle manipulations.  Although, I would imagine she might get the negative emotions that come along with manipulation.  I kept hoping as she got older she would figure out what he was doing and not play along with him.  However, his behavior is helping her become a very difficult teen to deal with.  In fact all this lying and sneaking around has really got to me recently.

Yesterday, I pretty much blew up on her.  I told her I was not going to allow this lying, sneaking around and constant attitude to continue going on in this house.   She blamed her father for what she was doing, that she is unable to say now.  I told her, I agree that she is a child and for many years she was just ‘caught in the middle’.  However, I told her that now she is older and is contributing by making decisions to lie/deceive us.  I also told her that this was going to stop right now because we are not doing this for another 5 years.

So, she said “Okay I will tell my dad.”  I asked her, “What will you tell your dad?”  She replies, “I will tell him how I feel.”  I told her I felt that was all good in thought.  I reminded her that she has tried to tell him how she felt a couple of times and it didn’t work.   I told her what she really needs to do is sit back and really listen to what is being asked.  If it is a question about me she needs to think before responding.  She can reply with a simple, “My mom had a great weekend.”  Then go on to change the subject and talk about his week and what they are going to do this weekend.  If he starts saying something negative about me, she can reply with, “I don’t’ really want to talk about that.  I just want to spend time with you.”

I have no idea if what I am doing is correct or not.  I have tried not to put her in the middle but she simply does whatever he asks or goes along with whatever he does.  My concern was this, and I told her this, that she is getting older and responsible for her behavior.  I told her I was not happy with her father’s decisions sometimes but I cannot control that.  I also said I cannot control what goes on when you are at your father’s house but I will not have this behavior going on in this house.

I have to say this, but I really feel tempted to give her to him.  She is the pawn and his using her as a weapon only hurts her.  I know living with him would probably be unhealthy for her.  However, her sneaky & deceitful behavior is not okay.  He has such power over her and she cannot say ‘no’ to him.   Part of my feeling is if she lived with him, he could no longer use her as a weapon against me.  Since he has this continues ‘Win at all Costs’ thing going on… and it has been 8 years since our divorce.  I have had to deal with trying not to play his games and teach her how to do the right thing all these years.  He encourages her to disobey me and that I am wrong or over-reacting to everything.  The attacks are relentless.

Maybe I am just exhausted of this ongoing parental warfare with him.  I do not want to play this game he is hell bent on playing.  This is upsetting this house and hurting my marriage.  My ex-husband’s constant manipulation makes it so difficult for all of us to deal with my daughter.  She has been with me/us 70% of the time and she is behaving more like her father than how I have raised her.  We have very contrasting parenting styles, basically whatever I do he does the exact opposite.  I am encouraging my daughter to take responsibility for her actions.  To do the right thing no matter where she is at.  To be considerate of other people’s feelings… do unto others.

Unfortunately, there are times you just simply are too tired to deal with a barrage of abusive attacks.  I felt this way when I was married and I guess I do now too.  In the past I feel this occasional crash and I want to give up.  Then I regroup and get strong and carry on.  I suppose this is one of those times.

Previous Posts

Family History of Abuse

Broken FamilyWell, many things have transpired recently with my father.  It turns out my father was diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder many years ago.   In previous posts, Abusive Email Traps, I had listed some of the bizarre interactions I had with my father and how much they reminded me of my abusive ex-husband’s behavior.   When I was married, my ex-husband’s behavior was so unpredictable irrational and he would exhibit extreme mood swings.   There were times I truly questioned if he was possibly Bi-Polar and using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate.

Since October 15th my father has become increasingly harder to have a relationship with.  One moment he is extremely pleasant and then an instant later he is yelling at me about something.  Then he follows by sending some email that contains distortion of the facts an twists the entire conversation around to where it is my fault.   This is the same types of twisted emotional encounters I had with my ex-husband during many conversations or emails I received.

Over the weekend they were able to obtain a court order to force my father to get a medical evaluation which is was so against.   Apparently he spent a great deal of time shouting at my Aunt about the entire situation.  Although, as she listened to his words she realized he was really angry at the doctor, not really at her.   He was just taking his emotions out on her.  I guess my father would not want to display this behavior in front of the doctors.  The doctor called me late Friday night to ask my thoughts about his behavior.  She asked if I was afraid of him, and I had to tell her that I did not want him to come and visit me because I was fearful of my family’s safety.  Especially after all his ‘God will Judge You’ emails that seemed so much like a religious zealot.

My Aunt and I talked on the phone for over 5 hours yesterday about all sorts of things.  One of her comments really gave me a change of mind about my grandmother and her relationship with my grandfather.  See, I had always believed my grandmother had lost herself or was broken to continue to live with my grandfather and tolerate his abuse.  Although, to hear my Aunt describe it sounds quite different than what I had pictured.

Apparently when my Aunt was in her mid-thirties she asked my grandmother why she stayed all those years.  I think my Aunt wanted to know why my grandmother didn’t leave to protect her children.

My grandmother said, ” Things were very different in those days.  There were no women’s shelters at that time.  Besides, where would I go and how would I have been able to support my children.”

“Why would you continue to allow dad to call you ‘stupid’ or all the names he called you?  He was so horrible to you, how could you tolerate that?”  my Aunt replied.

“Look, I graduated in the top 10% of my class.  I knew I wasn’t stupid even if he said I was.  I would just ignore his outbursts and let them roll off my back.” my grandma stated.

Apparently, my great-grandmother had told my grandma that she was welcomed to come visit her, but if she was fighting with her husband not to bother.  During this time the divorce rate was pretty low at only 10-15%.   During these years a women would have to have proof of the cruelty to even have grounds for divorce.   Then if she had proof, she would have to figure out where to go and how to support her children if she had any.

During the late 70′s when my mother wanted a divorce from my father.  She was not working and as a Catholic a divorce was really frowned upon.  However, when things got so bad between my father and mother she finally made the decision to divorce.  She wanted to get as far away from his as possible and moved several states away to live with her mother.

When I was making the decision to get divorced in the early 2000s, I never made the decision lightly.  I took was a stay-at-home mother and was very worried about where I could go and how I would support my daughter.  When things continued to get worse and my ex-husbands behavior became increasingly erratic I finally made the decision to go forward with it.

At that time, he was so difficult to live with I didn’t care if I had to live in my car I was not going to stay with him.  Of course, my attorney filed a ‘no fault’ divorce.  The bad part about this is he could continue to mentally abuse our daughter… although if we are entirely honest about it none of this has to do with our daughter as it has to do with his desire to punish me.  She was always just a pawn in his games.

To be honest, I really wanted to avoid divorce because I had been a child of divorce.  However, living with an abusive man began to take such a toll on my health I am not sure how good of a mother I could have been.  I still worry that my daughter may one day pick an abusive man.

It does seem we have a family history of picking abusive men.  I have told my daughter she really has a choice to make.  I told her about my Aunt and how she purposely picked a man that was completely unlike her father.  My Aunt said my Uncle is very calm and rarely loses his temper.  One thing I realized is my mother never met a man that didn’t treat her badly so I guess she probably couldn’t tell me other types of men even existed.

Awareness… people cannot make another choice without awareness.  How can you know abuse if you are not aware of what is abusive? How can you choose a non-abusive man to marry if you are not aware of what that picture looks like?  How can you choose a different life than what you have always know unless you are aware of what behavior is acceptable or unacceptable?

I remember questioning to myself… What if all men were just like my ex-husband?  What if I left him, met someone else and they were just the same?  Odds are I would have picked the same because I was very familiar with abusive men.  I had always known  men who were abusive and that would have felt ‘normal’ to me.  I was also very aware how many women leave one relationship only to pick someone who is the same, slightly better or even worse.  I really had to work hard on myself because I really did not want to make that same mistake again.

After all… People tend to repeat what they know.

Sources:

 

Tolerating the Abuse vs Fear of the Unknown

For anyone reading my posts, I apologize if it seems like I am always jumping around.  I just write my posts depending on where my memories lead me.  One of the things I thought about the other day is how long I stayed with my abusive ex-husband because of fear.  Fear really kept me paralyzed from making big decisions like whether to stay or go.  Fear of the future is not a factual emotion but it will certainly prevent a person from making decisions that affect the future.  If you haven’t heard the acronym it is helpful to tell yourself when you feel Fear creeping in.

  • F.E.A.R – False Emotions Appearing Real / False Evidence Appearing Real

Some of my fears had to do with how awful he could be when he was angry.  I guess I felt if he was this awful while married how angry he would be when I decided to leave.  In fact when I made the decision to leave I really thought he might kill me.  I know so many of the things he would say and do were meant to frighten me.  He use to say if someone crossed him he could be their worst enemy.   He also use to make comments about someone he knew whose wife left and he got custody of the kids.  This idea was probably the scariest comment of them all and was probably the least likely in my situation (10 Custody Myths).  He went on threatening to take me to court and take our daughter away for years after our divorce.   I have lost track of how many times he has said I was crazy or unfit or whatever via emails.  Even his current wife told my daughter I was crazy, how sick is that?

One time I remember listening to a Christian speaker, Joyce Myer, who said that people will stay in the present out of fear of the unknown future.  Although, she said once the present becomes too painful you will make that move forward and venture into the unknown.   At one point I remember wondering how I was going to pay for things, get a job, pay for that car I was driving and especially take care of my daughter.  Eventually, I decided that I didn’t care if I had to live in my car, I was going to leave.

There was some part of me that really hoped things would eventually get better and I wouldn’t have to get divorced for my daughter’s sake.  Oftentimes I wondered if stay was worse for my daughter than the consequences of a divorce.  Today, I am positive that leaving him was the best thing I could have done for her.  At least now she has a healthy environment for about 20 days per month.

I also remember my husband telling me, “I have been so pissed at you at times that I could have thrown you through a wall… but I don’t.”  What is that a term of endearment?  That my own husband would even consider throwing his wife through a wall.  Really disturbing.

Actually, I really did not figure out I was in an abusive relationship until I had left and he continued to harass me.  I eventually made it to a Domestic Abuse Counseling Center in hopes of finding solutions to make him stop harassing me.   I actually remember telling them part of my story and they were able to tell me all the other things he was doing because they called him a ‘Classic Textbook Abuser’.

At one point I was talking to my ex-husband on the phone and told him what he did and was doing was abusive.  He said this, “Kicking holes in doors and breaking glasses is not hitting, prove that in court.”

This comment was most upsetting because I guess it was easier to think he was just out of control and unaware of what he was doing.  His comment just made me realize that he knew exactly what he was doing and knew how not to take it too far to get in trouble with the authorities.

Source:

Surviving Domestic Abuse during the Holidays

Looking back now, I cannot remember a single Holiday that passed by without excessive arguments with my ex-husband.  I use to think he was purposely trying to make the holiday unpleasant for us.  I remember trying to create the holiday mood by playing Bing Crosby Christmas, decorating the tree, hanging the stockings and such.  What I most remember about the holidays was all the fighting we did.  To this day I really could not tell you what we fought about.

I am not going to make excuses for him because there is no excuse to act like that.  However I realize I was trying to make a happy holiday where there could not be one.   Part of my frustration had to do with thinking I actually had some control over how he acted.  He never really said it was my fault.   I guess it was sort of implied.   No one every told me I was not responsible for someone else’s behavior.

Although I am no responsible for his behavior I know, looking back of course, that I could have tried not to play into his games and probably felt more peaceful.  By nature I am a very emotional person and staying disconnected from situations is not easy for me.   However, some of the stress we went through was stuff he owned, not me.

He was stressed because it was the close of his business year and in sales every month is important.   We often spent time with his mother during the Holidays and I know he has some weird love-hate relationship going on with her.   He also felt this was a great time to drink and he did not drink at home when I lived there which meant he was really eager to get back out to the bar with his drinking buddies.   We also spent too much money preparing for the holidays which was another added stress.

Our Thanksgiving holidays were often spent with his side of the family and that meant football and lots of drinking.  The men typically drank and watched football, the women were up at the crack of dawn cooking.    We usually did not spend the night and he was usually too drunk to drive when we left.  So I would sit staring out the window in anger like it really mattered to him.

Anyway, all I realize here was I took on more stress than I needed to do while living with him.  His emotions, anger, frustration and attitude were his own.  I did not need to own his frustrations.  To even become partially good at this I had to be more aware when he was baiting me into an argument.

I remember one time he said, “Oh, I really don’t care about [whatever], I just like seeing you get upset.”

If you are still with your abuser and/or alcoholic, try your best to separate his emotions from your own.   However, do protect yourself because it seems this can be a good time of year to have an excuse for bad behavior.

  • Create a backup plan, perhaps a family member or friend you could go to if things get too bad
  • You do not have to own their stress, it belongs to them
  • You cannot make another person angry
  • You cannot make another person drink more or less
  • You cannot prevent someone from becoming angry
  • You cannot control any behaviors from another person
  • You can contribute to the situation, negatively or positively

Today I am living with a wonderful man who enjoys family time, playing Christmas music, decorating the tree and not arguing.  Sure he can have his moments of anger just like I do.  However it is still a struggle for me today to not own his emotions.   We also save money every month, all year long, so we have cash to spend during the Holidays without dipping into savings or using our credit cards.  My current husband is a completely different man than my ex-husband.  I know these things would have never been possible with my ex-husband because it takes two people, not one.

I hope this helps anyone out during this holiday season.

 

Dreaming About Abusive Ex-Boss

Changing Unwanted Dreams

Okay, so last night my dream included my manipulative abusive Ex-boss.  It is very irritating to end relationships with people only to have them visit you in your dreams.  In my dream I remember being upset and my boss was there.  Also there was some other guy playing football (I don’t watch football?) and was in trouble with my boss for not running into field that belonged to the federal government and was restricted.  In my dream I had cancer and I think was recovering from it.  Anyway, the dream makes little sense to me with the football, restricted land and my having cancer.

Dreams are a weird thing.  For me to dream about my boss when I am not thinking about him during the day seems like I still have unresolved issues with that relationship.  Sometimes I can think to a TV show or a movie that reminded me of my ex-husband or ex-boss and it makes more sense why I dreamed about them.

Maybe I can change my dreams by taking a defense class or archery or something equally empowering.   I know you have the ability to change your dreams based on what you think about during the day.  You know maybe I do spend too much time thinking about them.  That is part of my desire to make something irrational into something rational.  I guess I really do not like fact that both of those relationships ended as if I did something wrong.  Perhaps I did, because I picked those relationships.

One major thing that is consistent with my ex-husband and ex-boss is both of the relationships ended with drama.  With my ex-husband the drama goes on with the BS he use to pull with me and still pulls with my daughter.  With my ex-boss when I resigned he was very mean and angry at me.

After working in a place for 3 years and being administrator of everything there was a few months I had to tie up loose ends.  I would let my ex-boss know that I still had access to whatever and he would never respond but would eventually remove my access.  Or when I would receive a call or email from someone I would give them my ex-boss phone number or forward the email to him.  I consistently stayed polite in what I did.

I think I still feel a little pissed about that whole job ending experience.  First of all I worked for these people for 3 years and did a lot.  Now I cannot even ask them for a reference.  Currently I am just working for myself and I did not need to list him as a reference.  I guess that is sometimes how I feel about my ex-husband.  You know like you just wasted years with them in that relationship.

Also, for my ex-husband or ex-boss to be pissed at me makes no sense.  If they had been doing the right thing I would not have made the decision to leave my marriage or my job.  They really should be pissed at themselves.  I guess that is there way of ‘punishing’ you for your decision.

That is it, I wrote about it, and now I can free it from my mind. I know it is unrealistic to believe I will never encounter another abusive person in my life.  They are all over the place.   It has certainly made me more cautious to what type of work environment I am willing to work for.

After having my relationship with my ex-husband not work out I was very cautious before getting into another relationship.  Perhaps that is how I wound up marring a good man.  I was so afraid of making the same mistake again.  It isn’t like abusive men show their true colors the moment you meet.  They can hide their behavior for a while and you have to carefully watch for those red flags slips.    They do not show their real selves until they feel they really ‘got you’.

 

Abusive Ex-Husband Texting Our Daughter

Using Children as PawnsLast year around Christmas my daughter went from zero text messages each month to over a 1,500 for about two months before we figured it out.  The reason we figured it out was because she had a terrible attitude and we noticed she was texting more than normal.  We decided to see who she was texting through our cell phone data.  What we figured out was she was texting all her friends and her father more than normal too.

She and my abusive ex-husband were texting about 200-300 times each month between the two of them.  When my daughter is texting her father she has this terrible attitude and is very difficult to deal with.  Whenever she comes home from visiting her father it can take up to 3 days for her to detox and lose the attitude.  When my abusive ex-husband is texting our daughter the behaviors we noticed are; she acts super entitled, argumentative, talks back more, very dramatic, asks for stuff over & over, doesn’t take no for an answer and her grades sometimes slip too.

At that time she didn’t realize she was texting as much as she was.  So she and I sat down and figured out a text limit as a consequence.  I knew she would pick a much lower number than I might have picked.  So we decided on 500 per month and she already had used 250 at the time.  So I think I basically prorated the text limit to allow her the amount we decided for the rest of the month.

Well she burned through those minutes in less than a week and ran out really fast.  I guess when you are texting 1,700 times a month you are in the habit of texting a lot each day.  Okay so basically she hit her limit and that shut her text messages off for the remainder of the month.  This meant her dad could no longer text her either.

So we started receiving these ridiculous emails where he was accusing us of blocking him from contacting her and he should have access to his daughter via phone.   First of all, there is nothing that says I have to allow him to contact her via phone or text message her.  Also, we are paying for her cell phone and I think we can set up whatever rules we would like.  I sent him a nice email explaining that she had been sending excessive text messages, had a restriction and already exceeded that limit.  Of course he did not believe me and threatened to buy her a 2nd phone so he could talk to her whenever he wanted.

My husband had to call him, nicely explain to him that he was not blocked and that she had been restricted for texting too much.  Of course my abusive ex-husband responds completely different when speaking to a man than he does with me.  My husband said all the same things I had said in the email and my ex-husband acted as if that was the firs time he heard any of it.  He went on to explain to my abusive ex-husband that buying a 2nd phone would only create another problem.

So since that time, based on her attitude we usually know within 48-72 hours that our daughter has been texting her father.  So last month I was pretty sick of it and her grades were dropping again.  So instead of just blocking her from texting him I told her we should try an experiment.  I recommended she didn’t text her father for 1 month and we could see how her attitude was.

This week we noticed she was acting up again and the other day we asked her if she was texting her father.  She flat out told us ‘no’ that she was not texting her father.  So today after another night of drama last night looked at our cell phone records and saw she was texting him all this week.  So now she has lied to us and her consequence will be losing the phone for 2 weeks and then perhaps I will follow that with a really restricted text limit.

So, we will have to see if my ex-husband starts up the drama again about having to have access to his daughter.  The really sad thing is he spends more attention texting her when she is here than he spends time with her when she visits him.  Knowing him, I would guess this is just a bit of manipulation, especially with all the negative comments he says to her about me.  When she is visiting him he is busy going out, watching football and not spending time with her.  So texting is basically ‘crumbs’ and she is desperate for them.

I also explained to our daughter how her attitude is her responsibility.  That texting is a privilege and something she will lose if she takes advantage.  She will be visiting her father today through the weekend.  So I will not be discussing this with her until Sunday.

It is really disturbing how much of a bad influence her father is on her.  The problem with my abusive ex-husband is he is not trying to do things in the best interest of our daughter.  He uses our child as a pawn in his scheming games.  He is the ‘disney dad’ on the weekends, buys her anything she wants, has no rules, never tells her ‘no’… all so he can try to make our household seem extremely bad in comparison.  I am guessing she will eventually really get what he is doing but it really makes it difficult now.  She really never tells him what she really feels.

I hate the idea that this will end when she is no longer in our house.  Then I feel he will have successfully ruined our time together when she is a child.  These are the moments I wish he would just go away.

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Marital Rape – Abuse in Marriage

There were many days when  my ex-husband use to come home really late & after he had been out drinking.  I would be sleeping in our master bedroom, with the door locked and he would continue to knock on the door until I would open it.  He would want sex, I would tell him no, but he would persist until I gave in and let him.

In my mind I was thinking, “He is drunk, it won’t last long and then he will go out to watch TV and sleep on the couch.”  The problem was I felt terrible after this happened.  The sex was so impersonal and it always made me feel so cheap and bad.

It wasn’t until years later that I heard about marital rape.  The sex was certainly not consensual, so would that be considered marital rape?  I was always afraid if I continued to say no he would blow up and get angry.  He never really physically forced me but I always gave in and let him.

It seems like my ex-husband never did anything that could get him caught.  He always seemed to know exactly what point to stop so he couldn’t get in trouble.  For example, when I would try to leave the house he would physically block my path or use our daughter to prevent me from leaving.  He would never lay a hand on me.  It wasn’t until we were divorced that I called it Domestic Abuse to his face and he replied, “Kicking holes in doors & breaking glasses is not hitting, prove that in court.”  Where I had thought he was unaware of his behavior, he was actually very aware and was making sure to never take it too far.

There were so many times he would wake me up early in the morning and start yelling at me.  I guess it was because I was still sleeping when he left at 6:30 am to get to work.  Our daughter was very young, between the ages of 1-4 and she usually woke up around 7-8 am.  So I began to think I could somehow avoid pissing him off.  At that time I really believed I could prevent from getting angry or make him angry.  Years later I would learn I was never responsible for his behavior.

He would often get angry and say I was on vacation because I was not working.  It was not that I did not want to work but he would convince me that I wouldn’t be able to find a job.  He would tell me that we made plenty of money and day care would cost as much as I would make.  Of course, he would tell me I didn’t have a college degree and no one would hire me.  Then, he would sound concerned & helpful saying, “We need to get you a college degree.”  Looking back, he always made sure there would never be enough money to do that.  I wish I would have just applied for the student loans and gone anyway.

Yes he made a lot of money during those years, but he was spending it faster than it came in and we were always broke.  When we were getting divorced I found out he had a secret account, hidden from me and had $1,000 a month going to that account.  He also signed my name on our income tax return and hid over $8,000 from me.  Not to mention he was pulling out large sums of cash from ATMs all over town for who knows what… drugs, topless bars or just hiding it from me.  He kept our account pretty drained.

During those years I had started a business that would end up taking off and allowed me to leave him.  It was strange because I remember how broke we were with all that money and wondered how on earth I would ever be able to pay the bills.  Even today my husband and I combined still make less than my ex-husband and we are not broke all the time.  Completely different experience when you are managing your money or someone isn’t mis-managing the money.

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Transforming Abusive Memories

Woman SadUnfortunately, my memories do not stop just because I decided to end the relationship with the abuser.  In fact, sometimes these memories play on and on like a broken record in my head.  My ex-husband was the worst relationship I ever had by far in my life.  So oftentimes he plagues my mind.  Of course, we are joint parenting a child still which has allowed him to send messages to me from time to time.

I am not inside my abuser’s head so I cannot say what exactly he did or did not feel.  However, I know some of the primary emotions he feeds off of is Control & Power.  Guilt & Remorse are weak feelings, not powerful, and I doubt he would allow himself to feel these types of feelings.

I remember the times he seemed to have lost control and would claim he couldn’t remember exactly what he said.  Although he did say one comment to me in year following our divorce I will never forget.  This one comment tells me he knew exactly what he was doing.

My abusive ex-husband said, “Kicking holes in doors & breaking glasses is not hitting, prove that in court.”

This comment makes me realize he was in control enough to not push it too far on any one occasion.  He knew if he took things too far then there might be legal action taken against him.  That means he was in control of his behavior and never was really ‘out of control’.

One thing I have noticed is my mind links other people with similar abusive behavior into my memories.  I remember my recent abusive boss who said to me, “Your past has tainted your perception.”  I replied, “My past has made me aware of what is not acceptable.”

The abusive boss from several years ago, who flipped out on me one Friday just before I was leaving work and when I spoke to him that following Monday I received a ’30 Day Work Performance Evaluation’.  Yet the month prior I was the ‘Employee of the Month’.  He said this to me, ” Are you really going to throw this all away over a 20 minute conversation.”  My reply was, “Yes, that was a conversation, it was an unacceptable personal attack.”

It is hard for me to believe that they give one thought to anyone they have hurt along the way.  I would imagine in their mind they have already twisted the conversation to make themselves the victim.

Anyway, it was this morning I wanted to send a letter to my recent abusive ex-boss.  I wanted to say this:

Dear Abusive Boss,

When I left employment with your company we did not conduct the customary exit interview.

Please know I am so glad I made the decision to leave the company.  I am truly grateful for the skills I acquired that continue to help me in my current endeavors.

When Jane left the company last Christmas you told many of us she had medical problems and you were not happy with her actions.

When Donna left the company last Spring, she was unwilling to continue working for us no matter how much money we offered her to stay.

When I resigned a year and a half ago, you doubled my pay and I made the decision to stay.  Then last spring you told me I was not management material and then promoted me to Vice President the following month with a 15% raise.

In the end, I made my decision to leave your company because I could no longer continue working with you as my boss.  You can continue to lose people and blame it on anything other than your actions.  At the end of the day, you are the primary reason people are choosing not to stay.

Obviously I would not send a letter like this but I feel very angry at my boss.  I am angry that he is still plaguing my dreams along with my ex-husband.  I am angry that my mind somehow links these memories together.

The good news, I know my memories of my abusive ex-boss will eventually fade away.  I also have no reason to continue communicating with him for any reason.  I am also very grateful I took the stand to leave 3 abusive situations in the past eight years.

In 2004 I decided I would rather live in my car than stay in the same house with my abusive ex-husband.  In 2009 I chose to tell my abusive boss his behavior was unacceptable and unwarranted which led to my being fired.  In 2012 I chose to leave my position as Vice President and a considerable amount of money per month because it just wasn’t worth it.

I suppose when my memories start going I can work on shifting my focus to the fact that I did not stay in these abusive situations.

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