Remember abusers breed abusers. When a kid grows up in it, they learn to accept it. Then often repeat it in their lives. Stop the cycle and give your kids a chance.
Absolutely. And also remember that “But that’s how I grew up…” and “Well, it’s not his fault, his mama used to whoop him too…” aren’t excuses for that behavior.
Break the cycle! Be fierce!
This thread brought me out of a two year lurkerdom…because a few weeks ago I left my home, with my children and whatever I could fit into the car, and entered a shelter for battered women. There have been some tough days (no, I am not there as I type this, not to worry) but the worst day here has been ten times better then the best day with him.
The stories I have heard since arriving are heartbreaking and hilarious and pitiful. We share so much, so immediately, that I have made what I know will be lifelong friends. Coming from being completely isolated and in such a warped environment, the chance to make friends is one of the best things that has happened to me in years.
The emphasis on saving your children is a daily, even hourly, thing here. We are so constantly bombarded with meetings and lectures and guest speakers on how to let the kids express themselves, no feelings are bad feelings, etc. that I was ready to scream (heh)…and then one day last week, I got it. The kids who don’t learn how to deal with uncomfortable feelings end up masking them with drugs and alcohol, or accepting a fucked up partner as normal. And yes, of course I am the product of a very abusive childhood.
And instead of feeling sorry for my soon to be ex, who had no idea where we were for weeks, (After all why would I possibly go to a shelter? It’s not like I was really hurt or anything) I finally started to get angry and want to join you all in a big Fuck You to anyone who would put a family through this. He is sitting pretty in a million dollar home, while I am now officially on welfare, and have no idea where the kids will be going to school in a few weeks, so can I get another Fuck You for the chaos he has left in his wake. The kids are upset and confused, but years from now I know they will respect the decision I made to leave.
I know things will get better soon, but holy crap. The clarity that time away from him has offered me is amazing and kinda painful…what the hell was I thinking! It really was terrible and something in my brain made me okay with it for years. So, Fuck You, soon to be ex husband. My life will get better and yours will still suck. And you will continue to blame me forever for ruining your life by actually talking to people who could help me, but again, Fuck You.
overnout - that was a brave thing you did. Right now, the anger, the frustration, it’s all at the surface… channel it into something productive, like you’re doing, and all will settle. It will be ups and downs for a while. There are days when you will have all the fight of an enraged mother bear, and others where you’ll feel like a beaten puppy who only wants to “go home.”
Look at your kids, and keep in mind that they deserve to be kept away from abusive people in their lives. If nothing else, hold onto that.
Welcome out of lurkdom, and keep fighting the good fight. It IS the good fight, damn it.
I’d like to offer up a hearty “Thank you!” to my parents, both of whom emerged from brutally abusive homes and went on to be wonderful, decent, non-abusive parents to my brother and I. It took hard, conscious effort on their parts. It took courage to say they’d break the cycle, humility to admit they had no idea how and seek help when they needed it and god knows how much pain along the way, but they did it.
And a fuck-you to both my grandfathers and all the other abusive assholes of both genders out there.
I have this feeling that’s because those anger management classes are usually the result of somebody else telling the abuser there’s something wrong with him. (Using “him” because it’s personal for me.) And he doesn’t believe it. The lifelong effort starts with recognizing that effort is necessary. Good on you for that. More than 25 years after my first marriage ended I think that husband is still seeing the problem as a couple of bad temper tantrums. Never did get any help. Last I heard his second wife divorced him, too.
Ann Landers was asked late in her career which issues she had changed her mind on. One of them was wife abuse. She states “I use to think a wife should keep her family together come hell or high water, until I started getting letters that made me realize how bad hell can be and how high the water can rise.”
She finally started telling readers to ask themselves “Would your life be better off with or without him?”
I disagree. I had an abuser jailed and he DID get over it. Everyone has the potential to be violent. The fact that you let it go to the extreme is the only difference between you and most of the rest of the world. You learn how to deal with it. You are not still a violent guy. You could be, but then so could all of us. Give yourself a break. I’m glad you sought help and learned something from it.
The emotional abuse can be almost worse, in a way. What can you prove, really? Sure, he’s nice to you in public, but then when you’re alone, you’re stupid and ugly and will never really be good enough for anything. And you start to believe it, because that’s all you ever hear from him.
Always focusing on the negative. Sure, that A- is great but why wasn’t it an A? Of course you didn’t make the team, why did you even try? You’re going to your friend’s house? I didn’t know you had any of those, ha ha ha.
And then, you know, I start thinking like that. Even when I’m away from that and trying to figure things out for myself, I have to fight those thoughts. When other people compliment me, tell me I’m wonderful and that they love me, well, I’m waiting for the “but…”.
It is not fair for anyone to have to live like that.
So Fuck you.
posted by Kalhoun.
I see your point, what works for me may not work for others. If the person you refrenced has something going that is working so be it, I am all about that. I am not an authority on the subject, just a reluctant participant. We are all different critters, and what works for one may not work for the other. One man’s wine is another man’s poison. I think we can agree that the hurt has got to stop and that which makes it happen is a good thing. If it works in your case go for it. Options are good.
Can we agree that the biggest problem is just admitting there is a problem?
Absolutely. My abuser was forced to attend classes for a few weeks, but I think the real issue was alcohol; not an inborn uncontrollable rage. Once the booze was removed from the equation, the problem disappeared.
And yes, I agree with you that admitting there’s a problem is the first step. You can’t fix it until you acknowledge it’s broken.
I also worked at an Domestic Violence Shelter. Depressed the hell out of me. My younger sister is living in an emotional abusive relationship. They have two children together. He slept around with his boss, his female employees, had threesomes(W/o My sisiter) I sent her mailings of places for help, what to do to get help, told her I was worried for her safety and that the kids are better off being FROM a divorced home than living in an abusived one. I believe she wants to “Proove” that she can change the SOB.
What gets me about this whole thing is my father emotionally abusive towards my mother. Cheated on her, didn’t want her to work outside the home, have the house in tip top condition…etc. Mom LOVES my abusive BIL. Because??? He Looks like my father…not so hard to believe is it?
I’ll bet that has a lot to do with your sister’s willingness to keep at it. There’s some heavy psychology going on there.
Amazing how the cycles CAN be perpetuated… or how they can be broken, if you have the will to make changes. This is true of both abusers and their victims (who sometimes turn into abusers themselves).
I will agree that emotional abuse is probably the most lasting. It is, however, a huge part of physical and sexual abuse as well. Insidious beast, it is…
CONGRATULATIONS. You found the strength and hope so many other people (male, female, straight, gay, teenager, whatever) don’t have access to. And welcome to the board!
Oh my God. That made be bawl like a baby. I have GOT to stop reading these threads at work.
As the child of a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, I, too, give a hearty FUCK YOU to those who hurt their loved ones. As the former girlfriend of a person who liked to mindfuck people to feel superior, I give a hearty FUCK YOU to those who think it’s alright to mess with people mentally, so long as you don’t hit 'em.
Fuck 'em all.
To the guy who gave me two black eyes, three broken ribs, and a miscarriage from slamming me into the kitchen counter when I was five months pregnant: I hope you’re doing better now, because I am. I hope you’ve found some way to deal with your anger and frustration, and I hope to heaven that you haven’t done that to anyone else. I never want to think of you again, so you’re now banished from my mind.
To the guy who tried to strangle me, and threatened to kill me and my son: Just fuck off and rot. Eternity in hell is too short for you. You don’t deserve the brain cells of mine that remember you, so I forget you, right now. Poof, gone.
Go MissGypsy! If only it were that easy - to be able to wish them out of our heads and make them go away… I suppose in some ways, it can be done that way.
Good to hear you got out of these messes, and that you and your son are safe.
seenidog, I just wanted to say congratulations for recognizing and making the continual effort to overcome your problem. If only more abusers would follow your example and turn their lives around.