Friday, August 24, 2007

Is Your Relationship Out of Control?

I realize that most of my posts are from a lighter side view point and are often loaded with sarcasm and even melodrama at times. This is a more serious matter. Two out of every four women are battered each year according to the National Organization for Women. 170,000 of these incidents will require medical attention each year. These are rather alarming statistics, don't you think? Admittedly, there are males who also develop and remain in abusive relationships and there are abusive women in the world but the fact remains these are a very small amount of the domestic issues compared to male abusers and so this is what the article will concentrate on. There are helpful agencies out there for both and I sincerely hope you will make beneficial use of them. If you are an abused male, please use the above link as well as anyone else and I'm certain they can find you the help you are in need of.
Throughout this article you will find some warning signs which may indicate a need for concern even at the very beginning of a relationship with an abuser but for the most part, your relationship will begin as sweetly as any healthy one... the normal " getting to know each other " period or what most counselors refer to as " the honeymoon period ". A clear warning sign may be those times when roughhousing gets out of control to the point of you getting physically hurt. Trust your initial instincts in most cases. More often than not you will get a feeling if it were intentional on the abusers part, especially if they completely shrug it off as though it's not important because you were both playing and it was an accident. He may slap a bit harder each time you play like this, testing your pain threshold or tolerance level. If he is the one to get hurt, you may find him throwing a tantrum or raising a fist in anger or his voice may become alarmingly temperamental. He might display fits of rage as he goes about breaking personal property or putting holes in walls, etc. He will tell you later that you have nothing to worry about as he would never take it out on you and that's why he takes it out in the manner which he did.
Abusers have a tendency towards quick attachments. However misplaced it may seem, they can convince their victim that they adore them and only want to be with them. They have no problem with displaying affection in very dramatic ways even at the onset of a relationship or while attempting to develop one... one of their most prized qualities, although quite deceptive. Most women will jump at a guy who seems to have no problem with commitment. The ability to commit to one person so soon after meeting should be a clear warning sign something is wrong. Question a date on a few occasions about previous relationships with girlfriends or ex-wives or even immediate family members and friends and often you will hear some horrific stories of torment and emotional upheaval and the would be abuser will always tell you that it wasn't their fault though because of the stuff they put him through before he reached his breaking point. It is always someone else's fault when it comes to any past relationships gone bad. They will present their side of a story and all the time they are off guard as to the general information you can be getting out of them if you pay close attention. When they clam up, it is usually because they noticed they were getting too graphic and it might be a turn off for you. At this point it is a good time to stop the questioning as it can provoke them to hostility.
The soon to be abuser will lavish you with gifts and attention very soon after they made their move towards furthering the friendship and sometimes they will discuss moving in with you or getting married within only a few short weeks. They will talk about the future as though they have already made up their mind and it is up to you to simply agree to all which has been planned for the two of you. This all within a short period of time. Consider the fact that in any healthy relationship, both parties take their time in making decisions about things like where to live, what to do for a living and how many kids, if any, they will have, and with whom. He will want a commitment on your part as well and he presumes you will be more than flattered at his attempt to " stay together " at all cost. He will tell you you are his heart's desire and that you were meant for each other. He will spare no expense when it comes to keeping in touch... at all and any hours of the day... at the oddest places... sometimes he may have you paged at work just to say " I love you, honey. ". There will be times he shows up at a place he knows you are expected for no apparent reason or stop by your place unexpectedly or at an odd time claiming he just had to see you, to look into your eyes, or some other romantic lines he can accomplish and believe this... it was all very well rehearsed. He is now checking up on you to find out who your acquaintances are and what your interests are so that he can plan on how to damage them.
There may be times when, out of the shear blue, he will drive extremely fast or display a short quick temper about something such as his food not being perfectly cooked in a restaurant and more often than not the anger will be directed towards the waitress and NOT the male cook. Any counselor or expert on domestic abuse will agree with me that the way you see him treating other women or some women is identical to the way he will be treating you within a few months. He will kick something out of his path now and then... hopefully not your pet, and sometimes knock or slam loudly on a wall or piece of furniture to get a rise out of you. He will visit often and stay late, knowing you have to get up early for work and he will tell you that there is no concern for your career because he will take care of you if you lose your job. In fact, he will most likely prefer you are a stay at homer or will choose a home career to be closer to him and more available.
A would be abuser does not like a person with self esteem so if you have any at all, expect not to hold onto it for long with an abuser in your life and if you manage to hold onto it, you will have to become violent yourself in order to do so. They will find fault in everything about you including but not limited to the way you dress, your weight, your hobbies, your family, children, pets and yes... even your god or religion. If you are a Christian, eventually there will bibles which are totally destroyed by whatever means they have and if you are smart you will not keep family photos within reach of the abuser because he will only tear them or cut them into pieces along with what remains of your self respect and dignity. You will also find yourself keeping glass and mirrored items to a minimum in your home as time goes by. They will butt into your relationships with family and friends at a drop of a hat and tell you that nobody cares about you except him and they are all jealous of such a love as like the one you share. As time goes on you will witness more of their temper and violence and if you choose to remain you can rest assured you will never rest assured!
Careers are intolerable to the abuser. These mean socialization to him, something not in his plans for your life, let alone his own. A night out with the girls now and then i8s out of the question. Hobbies are just plain stupid and YOUR family and friends dropping by are an intrusion on HIS privacy. If you have children from a previous relationship, you were all wrong in the way you raised them and therefor they are unbearable. He will not tolerate another minute with your pet in the home so if he moves in, guess who's moving out?
Plans for your future often include moving far away from anyone you know and any familiar surroundings. This way they will have more control with less negative input from those who love you. You will be foolish to agree to this one even if all else was overlooked. It means a total lack of any sort of support system. The reasoning they use for wanting a new life somewhere else can include too much friction between your loved ones and himself, a fresh start, a new job, etc. Whatever it takes to get you to agree. It is on the agenda.
He blames anything and everything on you, his ex, his family and friends and the world in general. Every single thing he does has something to do with a way he was treated in the past or something you, someone else or society does to provoke him. He refuses to take any responsibility for his own behavior at all cost and will not be held accountable for any actions or reactions he may have. Indeed, most abusive people have been doing this their entire lives. If they feel threatened by the possibility of you leaving, more than likely they will let you know in no uncertain terms that they will hurt themselves or someone else or kill themselves and this becomes your responsibility also. They simply cannot help themselves. At times they may go as far as to tell you they believe you have a spell on them or something similar.
Unfortunately a tendency towards violence is not the only bad trait they hold near and dear. In general they are liars, thieves, lazy and will often cheat and sneak and if you find out, that will also be thrown on your shoulders. It is your fault they have to lie because they knew you would be upset if they told you the truth. It is your fault they had to steal to support you once they talked you into dropping your full time job. It is your fault they are lazy. They can't trust you to be at home alone so they won't have a job. You can no longer hold down the fort by yourself. Worst of all it is your fault they cheat because you are not woman enough for them or appealing enough for them or can't care for their needs properly. Of course, all said and done, they will stop and promise never to do thoe things again and they will go to counseling and they will improve themselves, etc., etc., etc.. Will you believe this bull? Ladies, don't forget that nine out of ten cheaters will not take proper precautions to protect you from venereal disease and sometimes will have other children floating around with an absentee father who refuses to take on yet another of his most important responsibilities. HELLO!!!
You will most definitely have telephone ear when there is an abuser in your life, although, if it were'nt for their obsession with contacting you, they would much prefer you didn't have one at all. If you receive a call while they are present they will stand close by to hear your side of the conversation or if possible they will pick up another phone and eavesdrop. If you notice the first thing they go for when entering the home is the telephone, it's probably due to their uncanny insistence on dialing *69 to find out who called you last or redial to find out who you called and you be be damned sure they will interrogate you after finding out who it was, whether it's a family member or help wanted ad. Friends and relatives will also experience the telephone ear syndrome as the relationship progresses. The abuser will call all of them each time he can't find you or when you leave after a fight. He will insist they beg you to talk to him or constantly remind them of where he can be reached should they hear from you.
The typical abuser is a good presenter. When they keep calling looking for you or sending you gifts, others will get the impression that you are being foolish and causing this poor man to be in misery. Even the law enforcement often find it hard to side with the abused woman and it's not for the reason you think. Yes, most of them are male. The real reason, though, is the abuser presents himself as the battered instead of the abuser and makes a very adequate crack at it to boot. He gives sob stories and tells your most well kept secrets to make it appear as though you are driving him crazy. By the time they get to the point of the violence, they are normally calmed down and YOU are the one frazzled and seemingly out of control. Your fear may be mistaken for a temper tantrum if you're not careful. Due to the ability of the abuser to remain calm exactly when needed and act sweet when around the people in authority for his own sake, the battered woman will sometimes stay for the simple reason that nobody would believe her and so she cannot find the help she needs or so she thinks. The help link is at the top of this post. ;)
If you are unfortunate enough as to have a vice which is illegal, such as cocaine, heroine, weed, the abuser has yet more ammunition. In the average abusive situation, he will supply your habit either financially or by finding the source but when the abuse gets bad he will blame it on your using or tell you he will turn you into authorities if you tell anyone how much he hurts you. If you are an alcoholic or in recovery of any kind, he will use this against you as well. If you have children he will have you believe you can lose them if the proper authorities find out about it. This is simply not true and know this right from the get go. For every problem there IS a solution. Get whatever help you need for the problems you have. You may have to wait until after leaving your abuser to get the other type of help you need and I would never tell you it will be easy but you must make up your mind what is easier to do. You have two choices in this situation... stay with the abuser in constant, consistent agony or find the help you need and get started actually living again. Both your abuser ad your vices are a threat to your mental and physical well being and that of those you love.
If you are already in an abusive relationship, please take the next few paragraphs and contemplate them carefully. God's blessings be with you.
You will never be happy or at peace with an abuser. You will never be safe. The abuse progresses, sometimes quickly but more often over time so that it isn't as noticeable to you or others around you. Some women wind up dead, others seriously injured. Most are repeatedly injured and hospitalised many times over. If you have children, pets or anyone or anything living in your home, these are at risk along with you. No amount of your time or attention will be enough to satisfy the abusive person. You cannot save him from himself and you cannot change his behavior. It is NOT your fault that he behaves in such a poor manner. Don't count on others to see what you do. Your abuser belongs to only you at this time. Don't expect any sympathy or make attempts to convince the abuser's family or friends circle... that is if they have any. Just get your plan together and go to a safe place. Before you just jump out of your seat and out the door, read on.
Before going any further, consider what he does know about your life and what he doesn't. If he knows you go online, learn how to clean out your temporary folders so he cannot trace where you have been on the Internet... such as reading this blog post. If he has a habit of dialing *69 on the phone, cancel the service. If he asks why you've done so, tell him they keep adding extra charges to your phone bill and you don't know where they are coming from. After making calls you don't wish him to find out about, phone someone more familiar so it's not stored in the redial. Accidentally break the caller id phone and replace it with a more conventional design so there is no log of the calls you receive or make. Deleting call logs only makes the abuser more suspicious and you will put yourself at greater risk. If he checks the milage on your auto, make sure to skedule private appointments along the way to other places such as the doctor or family member. If you have anyone who you are certain you can trust, make them aware of your decision and tell them that you must make plans. They may be of some assistance in the future as they are more capable of certain meetings and phone calls and such. Be sure they are trust worthy. Never trust information such as this to HIS family/friends even if they bring it up first. Abusers have a way of getting others to help them get info. ???
In your own mind and never on paper, make a plan for your departure and then stick to it. Figure out where you are going. Figure out who will help you move. Figure out what the important things are you must take and how long it will take to move it. Take into account if those who live with you will be going to the same location and how they are going to react once they learn of it.
Battered women make lousy liars. More so than others they have been programmed by the batterer to tell everything in such complete detail it's actaully painful in itself just giving a reason for an action, ( something which the normal healthy brained individual would not require of you in the first place ). You have to be consistent with the lies for your own safety. It's not the same as HIS lies for his own self gratification.
Remove living targets of danger before anything else and make certain that YOU are safe by not letting on what you are setting out to do. The next time he complains about the kids, send them to gandma's for a few weeks. Tell him you think you both need regroup time. This should please his demanding little ***. pretend to send the cat to the SPCA. You may actually have to do this one but keep in mind it's for the good of the animal as well s yourself. I'm sure you can find an excuse for this one. He never cared enough to know if the pet was spayed or neutered yet.
If you have a lot of personal belongings you intend to keep, get him in on the idea of renting a garage. You may want to get some stuff out of the way or plan a near future move together, ( false of course ). Once you've made your move you can be prepared to either change the garage door lock or move it to a different location at the same time as the move. Take things out of the home in small quantities. With the batterer in your life, nothing is ever about quality. It's the quantity that may make him nervous.
For your own sake, don't try to develop another relationship at this time in order to make hijm stop coming around you. If you think that will stop him, you're in for a rude awakening. Besides that... now is not the right time for a relationship. You need to heal and you need to get yourself back. He took you away from you.
Plan your move around his skedule. Make the final finishing move when he is not going to be there and have it all set ahead of time who will be with you to help and what type, if any, of law enforcement you may need and notify them in advance.
Once you have made your move, stick to it. No last flings. No one more night on the towns. No daily phone calls. No reports on your personal life. No matter what he says, you don't owe him. If you have children together get some parental intervention from child agencies and by all means, get counseling, counseling, counseling. Oh, by the way, did I mention... get counseling!
Help link can be found below the post title at the top of this entry.
Peace and blessings!,

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