Sanctuary for the Abused
Friday, August 26, 2016
Inside the Mind of an Abuser
What you Need to Know
by Mary M. Alward
Abusers use warped logic to brainwash their victims. They use methods very similar to those of prison guards, who know that to control prisoners they have to have full co-operation. Subversive manipulation of the mind and destruction of the victim are perfect tools to enable abusers to succeed.
The Logic of Brainwashing
Abusers use warped logic to brainwash their victims. Subversive manipulation of the mind and destruction of the victim are the perfect tools to enable abusers to succeed.
The Process of Brainwashing
The abuser uses several methods of coercion to brainwash his victim. They are as follows:
Abusers deprive their victims of social interaction with family members and friends. This is necessary to gain control over the victim.
The abuser manipulates his victim to become mentally and physically dependent upon him, which reduces the ability of the victim to resist his abuse.
Abusers use threats to cultivate anxiety, despair and the ability to resist. Most often they threaten children, family members or friends with harm if the victim doesn’t comply with his demands.
Occasionally the abuser will comply with the wishes of the victim in order to provide motivation to comply with his every demand.
The abuser suggests to the victim that it is futile to resist his demands.
Abusers strictly enforce trivial demands in order to create a habit of compliance in his victim.
Abusers degrade their victims in order to damage their self esteem and make them think they are unable to face life on their own. Self esteem can be damaged beyond repair and the victim is often reduced to animal level concerns.
About the Abuser
The methods that abusers, both male and female, use to manipulate their victims are a natural part of their personalities. Abusers all share behaviors and thinking patterns. This labels them as dysfunctional, insecure and unable to have a relationship unless they are in complete control.Abuser’s Tactics
Abusers keep their victims in the dark about events that are taking place. They are most always in control of the finances, talk about the victim behind their back in order to cause them to become isolated and make plans that include the victim without consulting them. The abuser’s goal is to monopolize the victim’s time and physical environment and suppress their behavior. An abusive partner tells you what social events you can attend and who you can go with. He may insist you quit work and remain at home where he can keep an eye on you, or he may tell you that you can no longer participate in hobbies. Abusers often insist you move to a location away from family members, friends and other contacts that will give you support.
Abusers do their best to instill feelings of fear, powerlessness and dependency in their victim. Both verbal and emotional abuse heightens these feelings and they grow more pronounced as time passes.
The abuser’s system of logic is closed. She doesn’t allow her partner to voice opinions or criticize her in any way. She lets you know, without a doubt, that her word is law
There’s a wide range of tactics that the abuser uses to debilitate the victim. If you recognize any of these tactics, a red flag has been raised.
DominationLiving with a person who has unpredictable response is difficult, stressful, nerve wracking and it causes a great deal of anxiety that can lead to health problems. The victim lives with fear and security and has no sense of balance in their life. Abusers who drink excessively are alcoholics or drug abusers often have unpredictable responses to trivial events.
Abusers are extremely dominating to the point that they want to control everything that the victim does. If they don’t get their way, they act like spoiled children. On top of that, they use threats to get what they want. If you allow your abuser to dominate you, you will lose your self respect.
The abuser tends to verbally assault their victim by calling names, degrading, screaming, threatening, criticizing, berating and humiliating. They will center their victim out in front of family and friends by taking small personality flaws and embellishing them to the extreme. They make snide remarks and use sarcasm to erode the victim’s sense of self-worth and self confidence. Making the victim look bad in front of others is an attempt to isolate the victim and keep them at their mercy. Then, the abuse worsens.
Gaslighting is a slang term from the 1950’s but is the perfect word to describe one tactic of the abuser. The dictionary definition of gaslighting is to drive someone crazy. This is used to keep the abuser’s victim under control. The abuser will swear that events never occurred and that certain things were never said. The victim knows better, but over time will begin to question their sanity. Be alert to gaslighting tactics that can beat you down and make you think you are going insane.
The abuser uses emotional blackmail to get what they want by pushing your buttons. He plays on his victim’s sense of compassion, fears, sense of guilt and values in order to get his own way. He may refuse to talk to his victim or threaten to end the relationship or withdraw financial support if the victim is dependent on him for basic living necessities. Emotional blackmail is the act of working on the victim’s emotions so the abuser can get what he wants.
An abuser will keep the household and his victim’s emotions in total chaos by starting arguments and constantly being in conflict with other family members.
This happens when the abuser makes unreasonable demands on their victim. They may expect their partner to reject everything in their life to tend to the abuser’s needs. Included can be frequent sex, forcing the victim to perform sexual acts that are against their will, demanding all of the victim’s attention or demanding that the victim spend all free time with the abuser. No matter how hard the victim tries to please the abuser, she will always demand more. The victim, whether male or female, will be constantly criticized and berated because they are unable to fulfill the abuser’s demands.
This includes emotional outbursts and extreme mood swings on the part of the abuser. If you partner likes something you do today and hates it tomorrow, or reacts to the extreme at an identical behavior by the victim, this is an unpredictable response. This behavior damages the victim’s self esteem, self confidence and mental well-being because they are constantly on edge, wondering how their partner is going to respond to their every move.
Inside the Abuser’s Mind
Abusers have a tendency to feel they are unique individuals (narcissistic) and shouldn’t have to live under the same rules as everyone else. However, the opposite is true. Abusers share many of the same thinking patterns and behaviors and use the same tactics to keep their victims under their control.
Abusers tend to shift responsibility for their actions to their victims and become angry because the person caused them to behave inappropriately. The abuser might say, “If you hadn’t talked back to me, I wouldn't have had to hit you.” Don’t fall for it. The abuser did the hitting and no matter what you did, you are not to blame. He is blaming you for his shortcomings and do not believe that you are the one to blame for even one second.
Abusers seldom take responsibility for their actions, but try to justify their behavior by making excuses. They may blame the abuse on a difficult childhood or a hard day at the office. Their mind-set tells them that they are never to blame for any negative behavior.
Fantasies of Success
Abusers believe that they would be famous and rich if the victim and other people weren’t holding them back. Because he believes his failure in life is due to others, he feels he is justified in retaliating in any way he can, including physical and emotional abuse. He belittles, berates and puts others down, including the victim, to make himself feel more powerful.
Abusers combine manipulative tactics, such as upsetting people to watch their reaction, lying and provoking arguments and fights among family members and his peers. He charms his victims and other people who he wishes to manipulate by professing that he cares and is interested in their well-being, when all he is doing is opening the door for a deeper level of abuse.
The abuser will often redefine situations to blame others for his troubles. Abusers will seldom admit that they are wrong, or for that matter, less than perfect. It’s always someone else’s fault when they act inappropriately.
An abuser’s thought patterns lead them to believe that they know what others, including their victim, is feeling and thinking. They use this warped logic to blame these people for their behavior. For instance, an abuser might say, “I knew you’d be angry about that, so I went for a few drinks after work to enjoy myself. Why should I come home to listen to you nag?”
Believe it or not, abusers are emotionally dependent on their victim. This causes an inner rage that encourages the abuser to lash out. Because he is so dependent, he takes control of his victim’s life. This is the way they deny their weaknesses and make themselves feel powerful.
Symptoms of Emotional Dependency
Symptoms of emotional dependency include, but are not limited to, excessive jealousy, jealous rages and possessive actions that are usually sexual in nature. Abusers spend an excessive amount of time monitoring the action and movements of their victims. Often, abusers have no support network and lack those supportive roles that others depend upon. Another sign of emotional dependency is the extreme affect the abuser suffers if his victim leaves. He will go to any lengths to get the victim to return.
Rigid Gender Attitudes
Abusers in a domestic atmosphere tend to have extremely rigid attitudes about the role that their spouse should play in a marriage or common law situation. Wives may expect their husbands to fulfill all of the family’s chores, such as repairs and hold up his role as a father. Husbands may expect their wives to hold down a full time job, keep the house spotless, the laundry caught up, meals made on time and also tend to the kids’ every need. All of these examples are things that should be shared in a normal relationship.
Most abusers are liars. They lie to manipulate their victim by controlling information. They also lie to keep their victim, and others, off balance psychologically. This enables the abuser to gain control of every situation.
Abusers have a tendency to put up emotional walls and never give out personal information freely. He keeps his real feelings to himself and is not interested in what others think of him. Abusers like secrets and are righteous and close-minded. An abuser always feels she is right in every situation.
Abusers, either male or female, can’t seem to develop close, satisfying relationships, or even bad relationships that last. They replace closeness with drama in order to make their life more exciting. They love watching others argue and fight and often do things to keep those around them in a state of constant chaos and upheaval.
Abusers always minimize their actions and refuse to accept their mistakes. An abuser might tell his spouse who has a black eye, “I didn’t hit you hard enough to give you a black eye.”
Ownership and Possession
Abusers are extremely possessive and believe that they should get everything they want. They also feel they can do whatever they wish with their possession and abusers see their partner or spouse as something they own. They feel they are justified in hurting their victim by taking their possessions, attacking them mentally and physically and controlling all aspects of their life.
Most abusers have had a violent and abusive childhood in a dysfunctional family setting. These children are very likely to grow up into spousal abusers. They are taught from the time they are babies that violence is a way to settle disputes and get their own way. It’s a way to settle differences of opinion and they see abuse as normal. As adults, they won’t be able to find alternate ways of showing or channeling their anger. People who do not have a method of outlet for anger on a daily basis allow it to build to a point where it explodes. When this happens, the people closest to them become their sounding board emotionally, mentally and physically.
Abusers feel they are superior to others and don’t have to follow the rules of society. This is also the attitude of hundreds of criminals in prisons world wide. Inmates often believe that while other inmates are guilty of their crimes that they aren’t. Abusers feel it is always their partners who need counseling and that they can take care of their life without help or support from others.
The abuser, whether male or female, does their best to keep their abusive behavior separate from the rest of their life. For example: abusers will beat their spouse and kids on a regular basis, but seldom physically attack anyone outside of their home. They also separate their lives psychologically. They may attend church on Sunday morning and play the role of a loving spouse and parent and then go home and beat their spouse and kids on Sunday afternoon. Abusers see this as acceptable and normal behavior and feel it is justified. Yet if they hear a report that someone else has abused their loved ones, they are the first to condemn them.
Abusers are seldom capable of a relationship that includes real intimacy. It is believed that they feel vulnerable when they are open and truthful with others. Abusers feel that it is up to their partners to turn feelings of anger and frustration into gratification and to fulfill their every need. Partners of abusers are essentially expected to be mind readers and know in advance the needs of the abusive spouse. When this doesn’t happen, the abuser feels insecure, unloved and rejected and rejection is grounds for emotional, mental and physical abuse.
Abusers, both men and women, think of themselves as independent, self-sufficient, superior and strong. If someone criticizes them or says something that causes them to feel insulted, the feeling will cause them to react violently toward their victim. This is the only outlet that they know to use to quell feelings of inadequacy.
Abusers think and speak vaguely to avoid their responsibilities. When asked why they are late or where they’ve been, answers will be vague. If their partners pursue the reason, the abuser becomes defensive and strikes out in order to remain in control of the situation.
Abusers: Things You Need to Know
- Both men and women abuse their partners, emotionally, mentally, physically and verbally.
- Female abusers tend to have a macho attitude toward womanhood. They look at female qualities as weaknesses and fear closeness and intimacy will make them vulnerable.
- A batterer’s level of hostility is extremely higher than that of non-batterers. Emotions easily turn to anger, which in turn is acted out in violent behavior. Abusers suppress anxiety, tension and stress until they eventually explode in a fit of violent behavior.
- Abusers suffer from low self esteem. They become dependent on their partners emotionally and feel threatened if they thing that they are going to be left on their own.
- Abusers often show emotions of excessive jealousy and are extremely possessive.
- Many abusers are alcoholics or use drugs frequently. If they discontinue alcohol and drug abuse, they tend to be violent through the process of withdrawal.
- Many people who are abusers have experienced or witnessed violence during their childhood. This leaves them with a feeling of worthlessness and low self esteem, which in turn traumatizes them and leaves life-long emotional scars.
Red Flag Signals
Many people of both genders interpret early warning signs of abuse as attentive, caring and romantic. Here is a list of early warning signs of future domestic abuse.
- Your partner insists you spend all of your free time with them in order to isolate you from family and friends.
- You always have to tell your partner where you are going, who you are going with, what your plans are and when you will be home.
- Your partner is extremely agitated or angry when they don’t get their own way.
- Your partner tells you what you can and can’t wear and insists on going shopping with you when you shop for clothes.
- You are accused time and time again of cheating, flirting or having an affair.
- Your partner refers to women in derogatory slang, or is secretive about previous relationships.
- The person was abused mentally, physically, emotionally or verbally as a child.
- Your partner grew up in an environment where one parent abused the other emotionally, He is a charmer or a smooth talker.
- He is abusive to his mother or sister and refers to them in derogatory slang.
- The person has expectations that are not realistic.
- The person has a tendency to be cruel to animals or pets.
- The person has hurt a child in some way. (emotional or physical)
- Your partner has abused spouses in a previous relationship. If so, it will happen to you too.
- The person displays a tendency to have extreme mood swings for little or no reason.
- Male abusers often feel women are inferior and were born to indulge their every whim.
- Female abusers feel men are inferior and expect their partner to give them their full attention at all times.
- Abusers like to intimidate and use threatening body language. They may throw things, punch walls or destroy their victim’s possessions.
- Abusers stop their victims from leaving the room during an argument or dispute.
- (THIS WAS WRITTEN IN THE MALE - YOUR ABUSER MAY WELL BE FEMALE)
If you see any of these warning signs in your partner, be ever vigilant. For your own safety, it’s best to end the relationship immediately. It’s better to be alone than to be in a relationship where you are constantly abused in any way. Get help now!
SOURCE OF THIS VITAL INFORMATION - HERE
Thursday, August 25, 2016
When Your Perfect Partner Goes Perfectly Wrong
by Mary Jo Fay
It felt like I was on a never-ending roller coaster ride and I just couldn't figure out how to get off.
I felt like we lived inside a tornado.
The silent treatment was constant and deafening
I never knew what I did wrong.
I always felt so stupid.
Everything was always my fault.
I carried such guilt every day of my life.
The fact is that life with one of these people is like living in a storm always struggling to find the eye of the tornado for a moment of peace. On the other hand, I believe that when we rely on seeking validation from others instead of ourselves, that's how we fall into their tempest to begin with. True validation is not something you can seek outside yourself. It is the fruit of an inner journey and discovery. To know oneself from the inside-out, rather than from the outside-in. Like love, we think it is outside ourselves so we try to grab it, hold it, and then control it ... then poof! It's gone, like an illusion or dream. Sometimes it takes falling apart to wake up and see what is real. That's when the inner work begins and passion becomes a product of grace, rather then greed or need.
The last week he was living in the house I realized suicide was the only alternative to divorce. Thank God he left.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
I think that often, when a victim says he or she "forgives" someone, they are just pretending that they aren't powerless to make the offender stop it or to get back what he stole.
Talk about "playing Pretend."
The reason I say this is because it's fashionable to forgive all sorts of unforgiveable things, and you hear people doing it every day.
You even hear people claiming to have forgiven a criminal while at the same time testifying against him in a hearing for imposing the death penalty.
How much farce can we take!
The word forgiveness has been totally bastardized by preachers and holier-than-thous. The nearest I can figure, they have all but corrupted it into meaning some kind warm, fuzzy feeling you claim to have toward someone you may nonetheless want to be executed for what he did.
Forgiveness. I know it's three syllables, but is it really that tough a word?
I'm in line with theologians on this (because they tend to think instead of just preach whatever sells). They will be the first to tell you that you cannot forgive an offense in progress, for example. It's bogus.
Can you forgive someone while they're trying to kill you? While they're raping you? While they're breaking into your home? Theologians will be the first to tell that this brand of "forgiveness" ain't real forgiveness and amounts to ALLOWING the offense. It's just bending over for it.
If you live with an abusive narcissist, you cannot forgive him or her. Why? Because they deny what they do to you, let alone that it is wrong. They show no remorse. The don't promise to stop. In fact they make a virtue of doing it and show that they fully intend to keep right on. That is an offense in progress. You cannot forgive it.
All you can do is lie by pretending to forgive it. You're just powerless to do anything to stop it and are deluding yourself to remain in denial of that fact. This is a little mental game you play with yourself to feel you have some control over the situation.
Again, for example, if someone has stolen from you and squandered the money, you may be able to forgive without restitution. But if he has the money in the bank, you cannot forgive him until he gives it back. Because that ain't forgiveness: it's extortion. You're just powerless to do anything to stop it and are deluding yourself to remain in denial of that fact.
It's the same if he stole something even more valuable, like your good name. It must be restored before you can legitimately forgive.
The truth is often painful. But not as painful as fleeing into denial of it. For, it is true: having the courage to know the truth is key, because the truth will set you free.
MUST YOU FORGIVE?
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Common Reactions to Trauma
Edna B. Foa, Elizabeth A. Hembree, David Riggs, Sheila Rauch, and Martin Franklin
Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
A traumatic experience produces emotional shock and may cause many emotional problems. This handout describes some of the common reactions people have after a trauma. Because everyone responds differently to traumatic events, you may have some of these reactions more than others, and some you may not have at all.
Remember, many changes after a trauma are normal. In fact, most people who directly experience a major trauma have severe problems in the immediate aftermath. Many people then feel much better within three months after the event, but others recover more slowly, and some do not recover enough without help. Becoming more aware of the changes you've undergone since your trauma is the first step toward recovery.
Some of the most common problems after a trauma are described below.
Fear and anxiety. Anxiety is a common and natural response to a dangerous situation. For many it lasts long after the trauma ended. This happens when views of the world and a sense of safety have changed. You may become anxious when you remember the trauma. But sometimes anxiety may come from out of the blue. Triggers or cues that can cause anxiety may include places, times of day, certain smells or noises, or any situation that reminds you of the trauma. As you begin to pay more attention to the times you feel afraid you can discover the triggers for your anxiety. In this way, you may learn that some of the out-of-the-blue anxiety is really triggered by things that remind you of your trauma.
Re-experiencing of the trauma. People who have been traumatized often re-experience the traumatic event. For example, you may have unwanted thoughts of the trauma, and find yourself unable to get rid of them. Some people have flashbacks, or very vivid images, as if the trauma is occurring again. Nightmares are also common. These symptoms occur because a traumatic experience is so shocking and so different from everyday experiences that you can't fit it into what you know about the world. So in order to understand what happened, your mind keeps bringing the memory back, as if to better digest it and fit it in.
Increased arousal is also a common response to trauma. This includes feeling jumpy, jittery, shaky, being easily startled, and having trouble concentrating or sleeping. Continuous arousal can lead to impatience and irritability, especially if you're not getting enough sleep. The arousal reactions are due to the fight or flight response in your body. The fight or flight response is the way we protect ourselves against danger, and it occurs also in animals. When we protect ourselves from danger by fighting or running away, we need a lot more energy than usual, so our bodies pump out extra adrenaline to help us get the extra energy we need to survive.
People who have been traumatized often see the world as filled with danger, so their bodies are on constant alert, always ready to respond immediately to any attack. The problem is that increased arousal is useful in truly dangerous situations, such as if we find ourselves facing a tiger. But alertness becomes very uncomfortable when it continues for a long time even in safe situations. Another reaction to danger is to freeze, like the deer in the headlights, and this reaction can also occur during a trauma.
Avoidance is a common way of managing trauma-related pain. The most common is avoiding situations that remind you of the trauma, such as the place where it happened. Often situations that are less directly related to the trauma are also avoided, such as going out in the evening if the trauma occurred at night. Another way to reduce discomfort is trying to push away painful thoughts and feelings. This can lead to feelings of numbness, where you find it difficult to have both fearful and pleasant or loving feelings. Sometimes the painful thoughts or feelings may be so intense that your mind just blocks them out altogether, and you may not remember parts of the trauma.
Many people who have been traumatized feel angry and irritable. If you are not used to feeling angry this may seem scary as well. It may be especially confusing to feel angry at those who are closest to you. Sometimes people feel angry because of feeling irritable so often. Anger can also arise from a feeling that the world is not fair.
Trauma often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Many people blame themselves for things they did or didn't do to survive. For example, some assault survivors believe that they should have fought off an assailant, and blame themselves for the attack. Others feel that if they had not fought back they wouldn't have gotten hurt. You may feel ashamed because during the trauma you acted in ways that you would not otherwise have done. Sometimes, other people may blame you for the trauma.
Feeling guilty about the trauma means that you are taking responsibility for what occurred. While this may make you feel somewhat more in control, it can also lead to feelings of helplessness and depression.
Grief and depression are also common reactions to trauma. This can include feeling down, sad, hopeless or despairing. You may cry more often. You may lose interest in people and activities you used to enjoy. You may also feel that plans you had for the future don't seem to matter anymore, or that life isn't worth living. These feelings can lead to thoughts of wishing you were dead, or doing something to hurt or kill yourself. Because the trauma has changed so much of how you see the world and yourself, it makes sense to feel sad and to grieve for what you lost because of the trauma.
Self-image and views of the world often become more negative after a trauma. You may tell yourself, "If I hadn't been so weak or stupid this wouldn't have happened to me." Many people see themselves as more negative overall after the trauma ("I am a bad person and deserved this.").
It is also very common to see others more negatively, and to feel that you can't trust anyone. If you used to think about the world as a safe place, the trauma may suddenly make you think that the world is very dangerous. If you had previous bad experiences, the trauma convinces you that the world is dangerous and others aren't to be trusted. These negative thoughts often make people feel they have been changed completely by the trauma. Relationships with others can become tense and it is difficult to become intimate with people as your trust decreases.
Sexual relationships may also suffer after a traumatic experience. Many people find it difficult to feel sexual or have sexual relationships. This is especially true for those who have been sexually (physically or emotionally) assaulted, since in addition to the lack of trust, sex & sexual feelings themselves are a reminder of the trauma.
Some people increase their use of alcohol or other substances after a trauma. There is nothing wrong with responsible drinking, but if your use of alcohol or drugs changed as a result of your traumatic experience, it can slow down your recovery and cause problems of its own. (See a doctor or psychiatrist familiar with PTSD if you have problems sleeping, eating, working and so on.)
Many of the reactions to trauma are connected to one another. For example, a flashback may make you feel out of control, and will therefore produce fear and arousal. Many people think that their common reactions to the trauma mean that they are "going crazy" or "losing it." These thoughts can make them even more fearful. Again, as you become aware of the changes you have gone through since the trauma, and as you process these experiences during treatment, the symptoms should become less distressing.
The information on this Web site is presented for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for informed medical advice or training. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a mental health problem without consulting a qualified health or mental health care provider.
All information contained on these pages is in the public domain unless explicit notice is given to the contrary, and may be copied and distributed without restriction.
For more information call the PTSD Information Line at (802) 296-6300 or send email to email@example.com.
From the website of the National Centre for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Being at the receiving end of abuse (being lied to, being used, being degraded, coerced, minimized, blamed, bullied, humiliated, emotionally raped, verbally and emotionally abused, etc) IS trauma.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Devaluation and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) has at its root distorted cognitive interpretations. There is a propensity toward negative perception. This negative perception is aroused and or triggered by any number of things that take borderlines emotionally back to the unmet needs and the pain that sits there until faced, felt and healed.
One very central way to change this cycle of being triggered and then sliding (often subsconsiously) into cognitive distortions which that can lead to acting out and over-all child-like behaviour, demanding, push/pull, self-harm, feelings of rejection or abandonment to name just a few is to learn how to recognize and stop borderline devalution.
Devaluation is the lessening of someone or something. It often results from triggered-distorted thinking. It often takes the shape of negative, judgmental, critical and angry conclusions drawn in relation to someone in the here and now that has come to represent someone in one's past. It is yet another facet or extension of borderline-narcissism.
When one begins this cycle of devaluation there is great reason for concern. It is a slippery slope from the mental exercise of devaluation to behavioural reality of aggression or passive-agression. When one is devaluing another person who that person is gets blurred. It then gets easier to value one's own narcissistic and selfish expression which will over-ride the reality of the other person's entity.
In the act of devaluing borderline's often misinterpret reality as if events that have occurred are a conspiracy against them or are happening just to them and being done by others on purpose. This is a prime example of narcissism in action.
An example of devaluation:
You are with a friend who has helped you out a lot and who you believe cares about you. You like this person most of the time. Though there are those times when you think that they think (projection) that you are "less than". Your friend decides to change his/her mind about something that they had promised to do with you. Rather than just accept that at face value and accept his/her reason you suspect that it has more to do with you. You suspect and come to believe that they are doing something to you on purpose to hurt you. Chances are that the change in plans your friend has made has nothing at all to do with you. Here is the critical area in which you need to stop the cycle of devaluation before it starts.
If you get into devaluation it will begin with the thought that your friend is not being honest with you. It will proceed to your believing they really don't like you anyway. Then the next thought would be that they don't care about you so why should you care about them. Anger sets in as you feel hurt but don't deal with that. Next thing you know, this friend that you wanted to go to a movie with now seems like some stranger you've never known. The reason has nothing to do with him/her. The reason that your friend now seems like a stranger is because you have projected so much of yourself on to him/her that you are not seeing them anymore. So, in essence then, this devaluation of another person, is really an extension of your own self-hatred and how undeserving you feel. And all it takes to activate this trigger in the average borderline is a slight change of plan or routine that leaves anything in the borderline's experience feeling unpredictable or out of control.
It is when you devalue, and react to others as an extension of yourself (narcissistically), that the slippery slope sees you sliding down the triggered-reality toward what is tantamount to illusion and distorted thoughts. Any action that you act on that results from that illusion or those distorted thoughts has a great chance of being very damaging in any relationship. It will be experienced as controlling, manipulating and or punishing by the person on the other end of your devaluation of them. If you are unaware of the effect that you are having on others and if you are unable to take personal responsibility for the unfolding of this devaluing dynamic the chances are good then that you will feel rejected, and or abandoned, not understand why and then escalate your negative and controlling behaviour/defence mechanisms which will then only further alienate others from you.
Devaluation of others is a slippery-slope because it quickly leads to patterned responses from your past crowding into your relationships in the present. When you come to understand what devaluing others costs you, you may then decide that it is a cycle worth stopping. When you start your slide down that slippery slope it can be difficult to stop yourself before you have done a lot of damage to yourself and others and before you end up at the bottom of that cycle yet again.
No deserves to be devalued. When one is able to devalue another it dehumanizes them and leads to an inability to respect. This is often the precursor to violence.
There are thought-patterns which occur in patterned ways in each and every devaluing episode. The key thing is to learn what they are and how to recognize them. The way to stop them is to work through them and understand what they are attached to from your past. The best way to not fall into the pattern of devaluation is to remind yourself that everything is NOT about you. If you find yourself about to devalue someone just tell yourself to STOP. Just saying STOP can help you re-focus your thoughts elsewhere.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Brainwashing Agitates Victims Into Submission
Her father, Ed Smart, said Thursday he knows "that she's been through brainwashing," though he has not asked his daughter for details about her nine-month ordeal.
The American view of mind control is more sensational than clinical. The public tends to remember how attorney F. Lee Bailey defended heiress Patty Hearst in the 1970s, claiming she was brainwashed into joining her kidnappers in their crime spree.
But where, exactly, did he get the idea?
"Brainwashing" is one of the few Chinese phrases to have made its way directly into English in translation, thanks to the Korean War. Chinese Taoist temples often displayed the two characters "Xi Xin," pronounced "shee shin," meaning "Wash Heart." It was an adjuration to all those entering to purge their hearts of base thoughts [i.e. Chinese Thought Reform] and desires, and rise to a higher spiritual plane.
The Chinese communists adopted this phrase during political "struggle sessions," in which an erring comrade would be urged by the group to straighten out, fly right, get back in tune with the common goal. The very word for "comrade" in Chinese is tongzhi, meaning "share goal."
Only one slight change was made: Instead of washing the heart, one was urged to wash the brain, "Xi Nao," purify one's thoughts.
During the Korean War, captured American soldiers were subjected to prolonged interrogations and harangues by their captors, who often worked in relays and used the "good-cop, bad-cop" approach, alternating a brutal interrogator with a gentle one. It was all part of "Xi Nao," washing the brain. The Chinese and Koreans were making valiant attempts to convert the captives to the communist way of thought. Soldiers sometimes caved in, sometimes did not. For some reason, sociologists later noted, the Turks proved the toughest to persuade, while Americans were a mixed lot. Some were converted, some actually defected and at least one was living in China as late as the 1980s.
British journalist Edward Hunter translated the term brainwashing in his 1953 book, Brain-Washing in Red China, which described communist techniques for controlling the minds of nonbelievers.
The word gained wide currency, given a powerful assist by the 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate, which revolved around the plot device of brainwashing. In the film, with the flip of a queen of diamonds card, a pre-programmed and seemingly normal person could be turned into an assassin. The device was revived in a later film, Telefon, starring Charles Bronson.
In 1968, when Michigan Gov. George Romney claimed that the Johnson administration had "brainwashed" him about Vietnam, Sen. Eugene McCarthy quipped that, in Romney's case, "a light rinse would have done." Romney, who was creating excitement in the Republican presidential nomination contest, quickly faded, clearing the way for Richard Nixon.
But it was the 1970s kidnapping of Hearst, 19-year-old heiress to the publishing fortune, that brought brainwashing into the courtroom. Hearst was held in a closet and tortured for several months by the Symbionese Liberation Army, which she then joined and aided in several armed robberies -- changing her name to Tania. Her attorney, Bailey, said she had been brainwashed. The defense didn't succeed. Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison.
The brainwashing defense has recently been tried again to explain the behavior of men arrested for their association with terrorists and terrorism. A friend of John "American Tailbone" Walker's told People magazine that Al-Qaeda had brainwashed Walker. Slate magazine reported that Abd-Samad Moussaoui, the brother of Zacarias "20th Hijacker" Moussaoui, believes that, in Britain, his brother "became prey to an extremist brainwashing cult."
The real soldiers who survived the Korean War and returned to the United States carried with them the stigma and guilt of having been captured and having survived the war and their interrogations. "Survivor's guilt" is a common trait among prisoners of war.
So brainwashing became a pejorative, and the phrase "you've been brainwashed," a term of reproach, as if the prisoner had become addlebrained, or a simpleton, during his captivity.
Sometimes the brainwashing sessions backfired ludicrously. There is the story of one British soldier who, during an interrogation session, was asked how much land his family owned. The Englishman replied that he had only a window box in a flat back in London where he grew geraniums.
The translator didn't understand what a window box was and asked the dimensions of the plot of ground. When the soldier showed him, with his hands, the interrogator brightened immediately.
"Ah, then you should be on our side! Obviously you are a small land owner and have been exploited terribly!" he said.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Be Very Specific in Custody Agreements
A child custody agreement is an extremely important document that will largely influence your life as a co-parent. Child custody agreements essentially lay out how you, your co-parent, and your child will be living your daily lives. For this reason, you and your co-parent must ensure that the rules of raising your child are clearly defined in the document. Including provisions in your custody agreement is a good way to thoroughly cover every aspect of your responsibilities as co-parents.
Before adding provisions to your custody agreementChild custody agreements must be given a lot of time and thought. They must be thorough and include everything that you will need to know as a co-parent for your child. Before adding provisions to your custody agreement there are a few major issues that must be accounted for. A basic child custody agreement should include:
A definition for the type of legal custody that will be
implemented. Legal custody refers to the decisions making
responsibilities for the child. These responsibilities can be given to
one or both co-parents.
A definition for the type of physical custody that will be
implemented. Physical custody refers to the day-to-day caretaking
responsibilities for the child. These responsibilities can be given to
one or both co-parents.
A method should be defined for making modifications to the custody
agreement if circumstances are to change in the future and the custody
agreement needs to be changed.
A basic visitation schedule must be created following the
determination of physical custody. This visitation schedule will
determine how the child’s time will be divided among both co-parents.
Including your own provisions in your custody agreementNow that the basic issues of your custody agreement have been defined, you and your co-parent will be able to add your own provisions if you feel that its necessary. These provisions will be useful in saving you and your co-parent a lot of stress and unneeded conflict in the future. The easiest way to come up with these provisions is to reflect on what issues you and your co-parent have currently regarding your co-parenting relationship. You may also come up with provisions by trying to predict and problems that may arise in the future and creating preventative provisions.
The most common types of provisions are used to provide more detail to the issues included in your basic child custody agreement. For instance, if you and your co-parent agree that details need to be added to your legal or physical custody agreements you may do so. Other provisions may also be added regarding separate issues such as how you will allow your child to interact with new partners or how you and you co-parent choose to contact one another. Any stipulation can be created as long as you and your co-parent come to an agreement on it. If you and your co-parent wish to make a provision but you cannot come to an agreement on the situation, you may request that a judge make a determination.
Remember that a judge must approve all provisions. A judge may also request you to state your argument as to why a provision is needed. Be sure to have a valid reason for creating each provision otherwise it is likely that it will not be approved.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Protecting Yourself and Escaping from Abuse
Getting out of an abusive or violent relationship isn’t easy. Maybe you’re still hoping that things will change or you’re afraid of what your partner will do if he discovers you’re trying to leave. Whatever your reasons, you probably feel trapped and helpless.
But help is available. There are many resources available for abused and battered women, including crisis hotlines, shelters—even job training, legal services, and childcare. You deserve to live free of fear. Start by reaching out.
Why doesn’t she just leave?
It’s the question many people ask when they learn that a woman is being battered and abused. But if you are in an abusive relationship, you know that it’s not that simple. Ending an important relationship is never easy. It’s even harder when you’ve been isolated from your family and friends, psychologically beaten down, financially controlled, and physically threatened.
If you’re trying to decide whether to stay or leave, you may be feeling confused, uncertain, frightened, and torn. One moment, you may desperately want to get away, and the next, you may want to hang on to the relationship. Maybe you even blame yourself for the abuse or feel weak and embarrassed because you’ve stuck around in spite of it.
Don’t be trapped by confusion, guilt, or self-blame. The only thing that matters is your safety. If you are being abused, remember: You are not to blame for being battered or mistreated. You are not the cause of your partner’s abusive behavior. You deserve to be treated with respect. You deserve a safe and happy life. Your children deserve a safe and happy life. You are not alone. There are people waiting to help.
Making the decision to leave
As you face the decision to either end the abusive relationship or try to save it, keep the following things in mind: If you’re hoping your abusive partner will change... The abuse will probably happen again. Abusers have deep emotional and psychological problems. While change is not impossible, it isn’t quick or easy. And change can only happen once your abuser takes full responsibility for his behavior, seeks professional treatment, and stops blaming you, his unhappy childhood, stress, work, his drinking, or his temper.
If you believe you can help your abuser... It’s only natural that you want to help your partner. You may think you’re the only one who understands him or that it’s your responsibility to fix his problems. But the truth is that by staying and accepting repeated abuse, you’re reinforcing and enabling the abusive behavior. Instead of helping your abuser, you’re perpetuating the problem.
If your partner has promised to stop the abuse... When facing consequences, abusers often plead for another chance, beg for forgiveness, and promise to change. They may even mean what they say in the moment, but their true goal is to stay in control and keep you from leaving. But most of the time, they quickly return to their abusive behavior once they’ve been forgiven and they’re no longer worried that you’ll leave.
If your partner is in counseling or a program for batterers... Even if your partner is in counseling, there is no guarantee that he’ll change. Many abusers who go through counseling continue to be violent, abusive, and controlling. If your partner has stopped minimizing the problem or making excuses, that’s a good sign. But you still need to make your decision based on who he is now, not the man you hope he will become. If you’re worried about what will happen if you leave... You may be afraid of what your abusive partner will do, where you’ll go, or how you’ll support yourself or your children. But don’t let fear of the unknown keep you in a dangerous, unhealthy situation.
Signs that your abuser is NOT changing:
- He minimizes the abuse or denies how serious it really was.
- He continues to blame others for his behavior.
- He claims that you’re the one who is abusive.
- He pressures you to go to couple’s counseling.
- He tells you that you owe him another chance.
- You have to push him to stay in treatment.
- He says that he can’t change unless you stay with him and support him.
- He tries to get sympathy from you, your children, or your family and friends.
- He expects something from you in exchange for getting help.
- He pressures you to make decisions about the relationship.
Help for abused and battered women: Safety planning
Whether or not you’re ready to leave your abuser, there are things you can do to protect yourself. These safety tips can make the difference between being severely injured or killed and escaping with your life.
Prepare for emergencies
- Know your abuser’s red flags.
- Be on alert for signs and clues that your abuser is getting upset and may explode in anger or violence.
- Come up with several believable reasons you can use to leave the house (both during the day and at night) if you sense trouble brewing.
- Identify safe areas of the house.
- Know where to go if your abuser attacks or an argument starts. Avoid small, enclosed spaces without exits (such as closets or bathrooms) or rooms with weapons (such as the kitchen). If possible, head for a room with a phone and an outside door or window.
- Come up with a code word. Establish a word, phrase, or signal you can use to let your children, friends, neighbors, or co-workers know that you’re in danger and the police should be called.
Make an escape plan
- Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
- Keep the car fueled up and facing the driveway exit, with the driver’s door unlocked.
- Hide a spare car key where you can get it quickly.
- Have emergency cash, clothing, and important phone numbers and documents stashed in a safe place (at a friend’s house, for example).
- Practice escaping quickly and safely.
- Rehearse your escape plan so you know exactly what to do if under attack from your abuser.
- If you have children, have them practice the escape plan also.
- Make and memorize a list of emergency contacts.
- Ask several trusted individuals if you can contact them if you need a ride, a place to stay, or help contacting the police.
- Memorize the numbers of your emergency contacts, local shelter, and domestic violence hotline.
If You Stay
- If you decide at this time to stay with your abusive partner, there are some things you can try to make your situation better and to protect yourself and your children. Contact the domestic violence/sexual assault program in your area. They can provide emotional support, peer counseling, safe emergency housing, information, and other services while you are in the relationship, as well as if you decide to leave.
- Build as strong a support system as your partner will allow. Whenever possible, get involved with people and activities outside your home and encourage your children to do so.
- Be kind to yourself! Develop a positive way of looking at yourself and talking to yourself.
- Use affirmations to counter the negative comments you get from the abuser.
- Allow yourself time for doing things you enjoy.
Protecting your privacy
You may be afraid to leave or ask for help out of fear that your partner will retaliate if he finds out. This is a legitimate concern. However, there are precautions you can take to stay safe and keep your abuser from finding out what you’re doing. When seeking help for domestic violence and abuse, it’s important to cover your tracks, especially when you’re using the phone or the computer.
- When seeking help for domestic violence, call from a public pay phone or another phone outside the house if possible. In the U.S., you can call 911 for free on most public phones, so know where the closest one is in case of emergency.
- Avoid cordless telephones. If you’re calling from your home, use a corded phone if you have one, rather than a cordless phone or cell phone. A corded phone is more private, and less easy to tap. Call collect or use a prepaid phone card.
- Remember that if you use your own home phone or telephone charge card, the phone numbers that you call will be listed on the monthly bill that is sent to your home. Even if you’ve already left by the time the bill arrives, your abuser may be able to track you down by the phone numbers you’ve called for help.
- Check your cell phone settings. There are cell phone technologies your abuser can use to listen in on your calls or track your location. Your abuser can use your cell phone as a tracking device if it has GPS, is in “silent mode,” or is set to “auto answer.” So consider turning it off when not in use or leaving it behind when fleeing your abuser.
- Get your own cell phone. Consider purchasing a prepaid cell phone or another cell phone that your abuser doesn’t know about. Some domestic violence shelters offer free cell phones to battered women. Call your local hotline to find out more.
Computer and Internet safety
Abusers often monitor their partner’s activities, including their computer use. While there are ways to delete your Internet history, this can be a red flag to your partner that you’re trying to hide something, so be very careful. Furthermore, it is almost impossible to clear a computer of all evidence of the websites that you have visited, unless you know a lot about computers. Use a safe computer.
If you seek help online, you are safest if you use a computer outside of your home. You can use a computer at work, a friend’s house, the library, your local community center, or a domestic violence shelter or agency.
Be cautious with email and instant messaging
Email and instant messaging are not the safest way to get help for domestic violence. Be especially careful when sending email, as your abuser may know how to access your account. You may want to consider creating a new email account that your abuser doesn’t know about. Change your user names and passwords. Create new usernames and passwords for your email, online banking, and other sensitive accounts. Even if you don’t think your abuser has your passwords, he may have guessed or used a spyware or keylogging program to get them. Choose passwords that your abuser can’t guess (avoid birthdays, nicknames, and other personal information).
Protecting yourself from GPS surveillance and recording devices
Your abuser doesn’t need to be tech savvy in order to use surveillance technology to monitor your movements and listen in on your conversations. Be aware that your abuser may be using hidden cameras, such as a “Nanny Cam,” or even a baby monitor to check in on you. Global Positioning System (GPS) devices are also cheap and easy to use. GPS devices can be hidden in your car, your purse, or other objects you carry with you.
Your abuser can also use your car’s GPS system to see where you’ve been. If you discover any tracking or recording devices, leave them be until you’re ready to leave. While it may be tempting to remove them or shut them off, this will alert your abuser that you’re on to him.
Domestic violence shelters
A domestic violence shelter or women’s shelter is a building or set of apartments where abused and battered women can go to seek refuge from their abusers. The location of the shelter is kept confidential in order to keep your abuser from finding you. Domestic violence shelters generally have room for both mothers and their children. The shelter will provide for all your basic living needs, including food and childcare. The length of time you can stay at the shelter is limited, but most shelters will also help you find a permanent home, job, and other things you need to start a new life.
The shelter should also be able to refer you to other services for abused and battered women in your community, including:
- Legal help
- Support groups
- Services for your children
- Employment programs
- Health-related services
- Educational opportunities
- Financial assistance
Protecting your privacy at a domestic violence shelter
If you go to a domestic violence shelter or women’s refuge, you do not have to give identifying information about yourself, even if asked. While shelters take many measures to protect the women they house, giving a false name may help keep your abuser from finding you, particularly if you live in a small town.
Protecting yourself after you’ve left
Keeping yourself safe from your abuser is just as important after you’ve left as before. To protect yourself, you may need to relocate so your former partner can’t find you. If you have children, they may need to switch schools.
To keep your new location a secret:
- Get an unlisted phone number.
- Use a post office box rather than your home address. Apply to your state’s address confidentiality program, a service that confidentially forwards your mail to your home.
- Cancel your old bank accounts and credit cards, especially if you shared them with your abuser.
- When you open new accounts, be sure to use a different bank.
- If you’re remaining in the same area, change up your routine. Take a new route to work, avoid places where your abuser might think to locate you, change any appointments he knows about, and find new places to shop and run errands.
- You should also keep a cell phone on you at all times and be ready to call 911 if you spot your former abuser.
You may want to consider getting a restraining order or protective order against your abusive partner. However, remember that the police can enforce a restraining order only if someone violates it, and then only if someone reports the violation. This means that you must be endangered in some way for the police to step in.
If you are the victim of stalking or abuse, you need to carefully research how restraining orders are enforced in your neighborhood. Find out if the abuser will just be given a citation or if he will actually be taken to jail. If the police simply talk to the violator or give a citation, your abuser may reason that the police will do nothing and feel empowered to pursue you further. Or your abuser may become angry and retaliate.
Do not feel falsely secure with a restraining order!
You are not necessarily safe if you have a restraining order or protection order. The stalker or abuser may ignore it, and the police may do nothing to enforce it. To learn about restraining orders in your area of the U.S., call 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or contact your state's Domestic Violence Coalition.
Taking steps to heal and move on
The scars of domestic violence and abuse run deep. The trauma of what you’ve been through can stay with you long after you’ve escaped the abusive situation. Counseling, therapy, and support groups for domestic abuse survivors can help you process what you’ve been through and learn how to build new and healthy relationships. After the trauma you’ve been through, you may be struggling with upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or a sense of constant danger that you just can’t kick. Or you may feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. When bad things happen, it can take a while to get over the pain and feel safe again. But treatment and support from family and friends can speed your recovery from emotional and psychological trauma. Whether the traumatic event happened years ago or yesterday, you can heal and move on.
Building healthy new relationships
After getting out of an abusive situation, you may be eager to jump into a new relationship and finally get the intimacy and support you’ve been missing. But it’s wise to go slow. Take the time to get to know yourself and to understand how you got into your previous abusive relationship. Without taking the time to heal and learn from the experience, you’re at risk of falling back into abuse.
Where to turn for help for domestic violence or abuse
In an emergency: Call 911 or your country’s emergency service number if you need immediate assistance or have already been hurt.
Helplines for advice and support:
In the US: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
UK: call Women’s Aid at 0808 2000 247.
Australia: call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
Worldwide: visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of helplines, shelters, and crisis centers.
In the US: visit Womenslaw.org for a state-by-state directory of domestic violence shelters in the
U.S. MEN CAN BE VICTIMS TOO! CLICK HERE FOR MORE