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Old 01-07-2011, 07:40 AM
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Truth and Empowerment

I am digging up an old post from tjp from another thread of mine...

I bought the book as soon as it was recommended, and came home to discover it sitting outside my apartment door last night. Once I started to read, I couldn't put it down... It just explained so many of the things I was going through, and it actually feels good to see someone else write it out in black and white.
I love books, so I generally avoid writing in them because I'm always afraid I'll "deface" the good ones, but I'll confess I'm already on my second pen and I'm only halfway through. I have to mark up this book, because then I can easily verify to myself that I'm not crazy. It has everything in here, right down to the horrible XXX movies he keeps bringing home "for me", the way he won't let me drive my own car, the constant reminders of every single thing he's ever done for me, and all the stuff he keeps buying "for me" that I don't want that keeps him/me in debt.
At work he's such a great, intelligent, smart guy, and everyone loves him, but as soon as it has anything to do with me he feels he's entitled to have someone wait on him hand and foot. He's always worst when he's drunk, but I've been realizing that when he was sober he's always used manipulation as well... This explains why he keeps calling from inside rehab (doesn't want to relinquish control), why he defines himself through the fact that I'm there, to why sometimes he's so fun to be with...

I'm a complete emotional wreck still, especially since seeing him on Sunday (it was the wrong thing to do - but I'm still glad I did it, because now I know I can't see him at all when he gets out), but this book has been helping me finally put the puzzle together...

I wanted to share this, in case anyone else here is going through what I am going through. The drinking may make it worse, but once he's sober he'll still be abusive. Get this book, it will be the best investment you ever made.

Why Does He Do That?
Inside the Minds of Abusive and Controlling Men

Lundy Bancroft


And thank you so much, tjp. I believe you've saved my life, or at the very least, my future. <3



Originally Posted by tjp613 View Post
Now would be a good time to thank God you never got married!!!

I used to volunteer on a domestic abuse hotline and I can tell you with all assurance that he definitely fits the profile of an abuser. It can be difficult to see when you are in the middle of it all--living it--and the control is insidious. He seems particularly adept!

I'd like to recommend a book that will be VERY helpful for you to read: Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft. You should be able to find a used copy online for about $5.00-6.00.

I would also like to point out (and you'll learn the same in the book if you read it) that controlling, abusive men are notoriously difficult to treat successfully. Please don't fool yourself into thinking that a few trips to the psychologist and a handful of AA meetings will do the trick. Chances are great that he is ONLY doing those things as a manipulation to get back with you -- you have clearly stated this is required, so that's why he's doing it! A month or two from now things will most likely be exactly the same--or maybe much worse.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:05 AM
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I spent a very long time trying to figure her out.

It finally occurred to me-thanks in large part to the good people here-that the only person I had to figure out was me.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:54 AM
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StarCat, I can relate to you feeling like you are "only" property that belongs to your partner more than being valued as the unique human being that you are! That's how I feel like my drunk dry husband has treated me. Our marriage has always been about him, and how I "fit" into his life. Our marriage has not been a two-way street. This became very evident to me after I suffered my massive stroke last December 2009.

You wrote "At work he's such a great, intelligent, smart guy, and everyone loves him, but as soon as it has anything to do with me he feels he's entitled to have someone wait on him hand and foot." After I came home from the hospital I needed someone to help me become my caregiver and to help me around the house. My DDH just wouldn't do this for me! Luckily my 35 year old son stood up and became my caregiver, but forget about keeping my house up to my standards! I realize now that I was just to "nice" and took on to much responsibility before my stroke! I realize now that I was and am a codependent with a capital "C". A

"A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first step." "Only God can turn a mess into a message." "We aren't bad people trying to get good. We're sick people trying to get well." Thank you for your tip about the book, "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft. I'm a work in progress.......... God isn't through with me yet!

Love and Peace,
Phoenix
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by sailorjohn View Post
I spent a very long time trying to figure her out.

It finally occurred to me-thanks in large part to the good people here-that the only person I had to figure out was me.
...the book isn't about what makes abusive men tick so much as what an abused woman can do about it, and walking me through how "I allowed it to happen in the first place" so that I don't feel guilty and stupid for falling for it.
Now I know I'm not a moron, and I'm not crazy, and it really is what I was suspecting it is.
Now I know that I don't have to feel guilty for not wanting to go back at all, even though he is taking his first steps to recovering from alcohol. The problems in our relationship have been made worse by the alcohol, but the abuse will be there whether he drinks whiskey or iced tea.

I am working on me.
I am working on rebuilding my self-confidence after all the verbal and emotional abuse he has heaped on me, that started "innocently" enough and escalated to the point that he started throwing furniture when I stopped apologizing for things that weren't my fault.
I am working on building up enough courage to stick to my guns and never go back, and I am working on learning the warning signs so that it never happens again..

This book was written for women like me, and it is helping a lot.

I'm too angry at him and hurt by him to care about him in any way, shape, or form right now. I couldn't care less what he's going through, because everything he has shown me, even while in inpatient rehab, is all about himself and keeping me under his thumb, and I am going to use all the tools I can to ensure that will never happen again. I need to, because he's getting out Sunday morning, as the insurance runs out then.

I need to understand what he might do, so that I can be prepared (already have the local police on speed dial but that won't be enough), and so that the next thing he breaks isn't me. He has not been "physically abusive" the way you see in the movies, but he has already crossed that line (grabbing my arm so hard it leaves white outlines of his hand long after he lets go, hitting me hard on the arm when he's on the phone with someone else and wants to be sure I'm still listening, grabbing my hair and pulling it to make me look at something), and I never want to experience it again.

I want to live my life, not be humiliated and scared to death of what he might do next (and heaven forbid the whole "He's being so nice, he can't be abusive, I must have done something bad" thought cycle). I need to back myself up, so I have marked this book up to the extreme to that any page I open I can see all my thoughts and how G follows the pattern. I need to unmask who he really is so that I will never believe in the mask he wears.
Otherwise I'll end up giving him yet another chance, because he is so charming and apologetic when it will get him what he wants.




Originally Posted by Phoenixthebird View Post
You wrote "At work he's such a great, intelligent, smart guy, and everyone loves him, but as soon as it has anything to do with me he feels he's entitled to have someone wait on him hand and foot." After I came home from the hospital I needed someone to help me become my caregiver and to help me around the house. My DDH just wouldn't do this for me!
G is always sitting there, reading the paper, and demanding that I do everything. The couple times he decides to help usually involves him re-sorting the DVD stack yet again, and complaining that he can't help me with anything because of his lungs. Even when he did decide to do things to help out, it was always superfluous things (like hanging up the 87th painting in my one-bedroom apartment) and he always expected me to do most of the work - he'd stand on the chair, constantly pulling up those baggy pants of his that keep falling off, demanding I run and get the hammer and the nails and this and that and what's taking so long and please hold the chair steady and hold his pants up and by the way why isn't the laundry put away yet since he "asked" me to do it 20 minutes ago (right before he stepped up onto the chair)?
Even now, I mentioned he has no relationship with his grown children, so his plan is that he's going to stop drinking and I'm going to invite over and babysit the grandchildren so he can watch a cartoon with them until he gets bored and I can chase them around and do everything else, too.

His wants are more important than my needs. My shoes are falling apart, the sole on the right shoe is almost completely separated, the tongue on the left one is the only thing holding it onto my foot, the heels are worn through on both until the empty hollow spaces are showing inside the shoe, and he spends our last $10 on alcohol and charges another $200 on amazon.com for about 30 horror movies he read about in a magazine. (Did I mention he's already got 317 movies/dvds/tv series still wrapped in cellophane, not including those at his mother's house?)

A relationship is all about giving of yourself to the other at the expense of yourself, until he's the one who needs to give. And he has the guts to label himself as codependent - maybe with other people, but never his own family.

*HUGS*
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:37 AM
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You're very welcome, StarCat and I am so very grateful that HP guided you to buy the book. I KNEW it would be very helpful for you to see these traits in black and white and on every page of that book! The author does a fantastic job of putting all the information together in a sympathetic way for the victims of abuse to finally recognize what is really going on in their home.

No, you are not crazy! Isn't that good news??



I spent a very long time trying to figure her out. It finally occurred to me-thanks in large part to the good people here-that the only person I had to figure out was me.
Sailorjohn - With all due respect, I do understand your motive for saying this, but victims of emotional abuse and manipulations are very, very smart to do research into the tactics of their abusers. This book has enlightened thousands and hopefully saved as many lives.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:22 AM
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Sorry if I came off as harsh, but for me, it may have been a 'lightbulb' moment but it wasn't nearly enough.

Kept going back for more of the same.

Is there any way you can extract yourself from this?
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:30 AM
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If you're going to tell me how I'm doing things wrong, at least start from the beginning and try to understand.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ere-start.html
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ipulation.html

What worked for you will not work in this situation.

I'm sorry I posted this thread now.
I thought I would share some insight but apparently everything I try to do is still wrong.
Could someone please lock this please?


I'm sorry.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:37 AM
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well, starcat, i for one benefitted from your insights regarding abusive men. i actually just went and read some of the book on amazon, thanks to your post.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by StarCat View Post
If you're going to tell me how I'm doing things wrong, at least start from the beginning and try to understand.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ere-start.html
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ipulation.html

What worked for you will not work in this situation.

I'm sorry I posted this thread now.
I thought I would share some insight but apparently everything I try to do is still wrong.
Could someone please lock this please?


I'm sorry.
((((StarCat))) Not at all! You're doing GREAT!!! I'm unsure where this is coming from -- but please don't lose confidence in yourself OR your insights now! From the beginning I have been very impressed with your quick ability to recognize where the dysfunction lies and your willingness to take care of yourself now. You are doing just fine!!
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:46 AM
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I find Lundy Bancrofts books really helpful. I'd checked out Why Does he Do That from the library so often. I kept it as long as I could, renewed it as many times as I could before turning it back in for for a couple days only to go back and re-check it out again. It helped so much to realize that I'm not crazy. I finally decided to buy it when I realized that some one else may be needing it as much as I did.

It was such an stunning moment when I realized that no matter what I did, he wasn't going to be happy. It didn't matter how I communicated my needs, he wasn't going to react any better to my stating them or actually meet them. It didn't matter how many counsellors I saw to try to help me communicate better with this 'man', because he does not want to communicate with me - he does not see me as anything but a piece of furniture, luggage, property. It literally felt like a weight had been removed from my back to realize I didn't have to try any more and I didn't have to live like that any more.

I'm so glad that you're seeing your patterns and how it connects to him. It's such a major step towards reaching safety.

Wishing you peace, safety and continued strength.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:51 AM
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It literally felt like a weight had been removed from my back to realize I didn't have to try any more and I didn't have to live like that any more.
Yes, me too. Over 200 pounds of never ending needs.
Wow.

Beth
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:58 AM
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I hope I get to post this before this thread is closed because I feel it's important! I'm from the "old school" of being a woman, and I believe I see some of that "old school" thinking going on in this thread. Sometimes us, women, forget men can, also, be the abused! The penetrator of abuse can be a woman, also. Being the penetrator isn't reserved just for men! There are several male codependents that post here on SR that I value for their insights.

My MIL was a mean active alcoholic! She only tolerated me because I gave her, her only grandson! This woman did so many things against me......from throwing me down a set of stairs......to attending my daughter's memorial services expecting me to play the "little hostess". My DDH never stood up to her. I got along good with my FIL who wasn't an alcoholic and accepted me, even though I'm not Italian.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Love and Peace,
Phoenix
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Phoenixthebird View Post
I hope I get to post this before this thread is closed because I feel it's important!
I hope this thread isn't closed - I'm sorry.

It's just that the feelings of being manipulated and constantly corrected are way too raw and new. The posts from sailorjohn were bringing up all the old feelings - G has labeled himself as a "codependent" (which may be true as far as others are concerned, but not his relationship towards his family), uses all the psychobabble, and is constantly talking about how my parents are the real ones to blame and how he's trying to "help me" work through things and why won't I just recognize that.
I know you meant well, sailorjohn... Please realize that I do know I can't change him, and I am taking steps to work on myself, but he is so manipulative that every time I come up with one answer he tries to call me and tell me how I'm doing it wrong. And now here I found something that is really helping me come to terms with what I've lived through these past four years, and especially the past six months, and it felt like you were telling me all about how I was doing it wrong, and this is where I go to try and find sanity away from all that.
My refuge was threatened, and you sounded just like him. I'm sorry, I did overreact, and that is a genuine apology too, not just an "I'll apologize so you stop yelling at me" sort of thing like I've become so proficient at with G.

I just needed to take some time to distance myself from what was setting me off for awhile... On the plus side, I finally did make that call to the psychologist, which was something I kept putting off. (Every time I looked I started to get so depressed I just tabled it for later).

Trying to breathe, trying to unwind and relax... I'm working through things, but I am still so unstable, ever since I saw him Sunday, and now ever since I know he's getting out this coming Sunday. I have one full day left before everything gets infinitely more difficult.


On the plus side, I have taken some steps to remove him/his influence from my life:
  • He does not have the keys to the apartment at all any more. His name is not on the lease, nor did he change his legal address to match mine, so he has no claims to the apartment whatsoever.
  • My apartment complex is huge, so I have about 5 square miles where I can park my car - he is not desperate enough to look everywhere.
  • My cell phone blocks all numbers that do not show call waiting, as well as his work number. I can block his home number as well if I have to, although I am trying not to for now.
  • My cell phone has the sorts of protections you'd add for a child now, which means I can restrict it from all calls excluding a select few numbers during portions of the day. Currently it blocks all incoming and outcoming calls overnight, but the hours can be changed to whatever I want (including 100% of the time).
  • I have the local police and the work psychologist on speed dial. I will add my psychologist as soon as I have a meeting with him - they're working on fitting me in tomorrow, I am waiting for a call back.

Unfortunately we work at the same place, so he may try to cause a scene, but my building is on the other side of the street, I have moved from my office so he does not know my seat, and it's rare enough for him to be over here unless there's a big event going on that someone will notice and everyone who recognizes him will watch him (imagine someone really high up in management stopping by your workplace for a surprise visit - their reaction will be similar).
Also, since I can't block him on my work phone, I could get him fired for workplace harassment if he fails to respect my requests to stop calling me. I sincerely hope it doesn't come to that, but as long as I document everything properly I could get him fired in a second. The company is scared to death of going to court for things like this.

His cell phone is currently on my cell phone plan, and I pay for it. I have four options for this... I could continue as is, I could split his phone from mine and have it sent to his house again (we combined plans to save money), I could cut off service to his phone (this would be vindictive - I shouldn't, but it's fun to think about), or I could pay $10 per month to have the phone tracked via GPS so I'll always know where his car is (and hence, where he is, since he drives everywhere - again, I'll only do this if I feel threatened by him, and if someone I trust with this sort of situation feels it's the best thing to do).


At any rate, I should probably steer clear of here (and people in general) for awhile, right now I have way too many buttons that are oh so easy to push. I'm just bracing for the storm that I am sure will come Sunday once G is released.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:53 PM
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You're doing a lot. You're doing well. I can feel the anxiety in your posts.

Maybe Sunday is a good day to turn off the phone and go somewhere new you've always wanted to go - or some place relaxing and private. Go to a double feature. Something that keeps your mind busy and your physical self away for the day.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:07 PM
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G left my finances in a wreck. I never let him drag me down to the point where I couldn't take care of my bills on my paycheck, and I make enough that if I do the right thing, and cut a couple small corners, I can certainly pay everything off in 1-2 years, so I was thinking of going to the local Toyota dealer to test drive a car and use that as incentive to keep moving forward. (When I reach my goals I'd like to trade in the '95 Escort for a nice shiny new hybrid, maybe even the kind where you tell the factory what features and color you want - that would be a fun and visible incentive, and I could do it if I don't lose my way).

The movies is a good idea, not sure what I'd see, though. Saw Harry Potter this week already.

Maybe I should go somewhere further from home, though... Maybe just pick a highway, pick a direction, pick how long I'm going to drive, and see what happens. Since he has always planned everything to the millisecond, it would be fun to be spontaneous for once.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:38 PM
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"...constantly talking about how my parents are the real ones to blame and how he's trying to "help me" work through things and why won't I just recognize that..."

My Ah has never been physically abusive. He goes straight for the soul. If I had a dollar for every time my AH, in his boozy wisdom, claimed to know more about my thoughts and feelings than I do, I could walk out of here tomorrow and buy myself a new car to drive into a new life.

I know how much that crap can hurt. It took me so many years to understand that it was an alcohol induced insane person yammering at me. Sometimes I still forget.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:56 PM
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StarCat, be kind to yourself! You are living out a horror story. It sounds like you are doing all the RIGHT things to try to protect yourself!

I think there are a lot of members here on SR that can relate to your "raw" feelings. I was one of those members. I started posting under another ID, talking about my massive stroke and all the things that I have endured this past year. I basically got chased off of SR when someone wrote they were tired of hearing about "my pity pot". I didn't have the strength back then to stand up for my rights. It was easier for me to stop posting. However, I was like you, I had gotten a lot from the short period of time I was using SR; so I started posting under my new ID "Phoenix the bird" rising from the ashes!

You wrote "At any rate, I should probably steer clear of here (and people in general) for awhile, right now I have way too many buttons that are oh so easy to push. I'm just bracing for the storm that I am sure will come Sunday once G is released." I would like to contradict with your thinking. I feel like you're going to need to use SR even more once G gets released. If you don't feel like starting a thread, do some reading and posting; if you don't feel like doing any posting, than just PM some of your friends here on SR. We're here for you!

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." Alexander Graham Bell

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." Harriet Beecher Stowe

"One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something better." Col. Harland Sanders

"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning." Ivy Baker Priest

Phoenix
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:25 PM
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I have to mark up this book, because then I can easily verify to myself that I'm not crazy. It has everything in here
Boy, do I know that feeling!! When you read in black and white everything you have been going through and FINALLY you KNOW you are not nuts. That you are dealing with something and someone who on the surface might look like they are normal but in reality there is just something flat wrong with them. Validation and release. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:51 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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StarCat - sounds like you have thought of all the important stuff. Good job!

Just in case there's something you can use, you may want to google 'domestic violence safety plan' to make sure all your bases are covered. Here's one I happen to have bookmarked: http://www.abanet.org/tips/publicservice/DVENG.pdf

I don't know if your phone service is similar to mine, but I have that GPS tracking for my daughter's phone and it sends her a message about once a week 'reminding' her that her phone is being tracked. I don't think you want to trigger him that way so make sure about it before you sign up - OK?
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:21 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tjp613 View Post
I don't know if your phone service is similar to mine, but I have that GPS tracking for my daughter's phone and it sends her a message about once a week 'reminding' her that her phone is being tracked. I don't think you want to trigger him that way so make sure about it before you sign up - OK?
Thanks for the warning - I probably won't do it, I'll probably just pay it (if he behaves and leaves me alone - his phone is only $10 extra, and I've got plenty of minutes) or separate the phone plans if he doesn't (so I can block the number), but it's certainly tempting.

And thank you for the emergency plan. I really should plan something, because I have no idea what he'll try on Sunday, this is new territory for the both of us. He may stop by and try to get in, but more likely he'll stay away and try to get to me at work, but I should be prepared in either case.
Thanks!
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