Tuesday, October 27, 2015
I want to clarify something before I continue. I am in no way "bashing" or shifting blame. I'm not running from my part of the problems in my marriage, I accept full responsibility for mistakes I made. However, after much reading, and therapy, so much makes sense now when before I was running, but I didn't really know from what.
The meme I saw said this:
"When the Narcissist's family seeks to attack your credibility to protect the Narcissist, know that they are enablers. They have been repeatedly used and manipulated by the Narcissist. Enablers protect the bad things the Narcissist has done and have the potential to blame you if the Narcissist begins to act out. He could be the most abusive person in the world, but if he has enablers it makes him feel more powerful because no one is telling him to stop."
That is the life I'm now living, and the life Victims' Assistance and other professionals told me I would most likely encounter. Do I feel my ex husband is a bad person? No, not at all. Do I believe he has a problem? Yes, yes I do, and so does my oldest daughter. How do I know she believes that? Simple, she told me many times through the years. We talked about it often.
Here are some examples I was given that speak to the characteristics of psychological abusers. I'll explain how these were, were present in my relationship.
Characteristics of AbusersIf the person you love or live with does these things, it’s time to get help:
- Keeps track of what you are doing all the time and criticizes you for little things.
- Constantly accuses you of being unfaithful.
- Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family, or going to work or school.
- Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs. (First of all he didn't use drugs, but he did drink. He didn't get angry, but would sit and sulk for hours.)
- Humiliates you in front of others.
- Threatens to hurt you or the children or pets, or does cause hurt (One example: he got angry with me on the phone before he left the state, and even though I told him I wanted to keep my poodle, he screamed to the kids while I was on the phone with him to "put her down or give her away." She was gone in the next few days.)
- Uses or threatens to use a weapon against you. (He would clench his fists, hit the wall, etc)
- Blames you for his/her violent outbursts. (Yes, oh yes. This is prevalent in the police reports and things some of the kids, neighbors, friends, have told me)
Characteristics of Abusers...Warning signs of potential violence:
- Abuser pacing the floor
- Clenching/unclenching fists
- Facial expression (glaring)
Abusers frequently have the following characteristics:
- Often blow up in anger at small incidents. He or she is often easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really very angry.
- Are excessively jealous: At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser may claim that jealousy is a sign of his or her love. Jealousy has nothing to do with love. (EXTREMELY)
- Like to isolate victim: He or she may try to cut you off from social supports, accusing the people who act as your support network of "causing trouble." (Any friend I attempted to make he hated. He had no reason he could/would give me other than "I don't like them.")
- Have a poor self-image; are insecure. (Very much so. He had an abusive childhood followed by a marriage where his first wife and their pastor, his words, said he was too insecure and childish because he wouldn't let her engage in "friendship sex" with the pastor)
- Blame others for their own problems.(I can't remember him ever apologizing to me. He very well may have, but I don't remember it)
- Blame others for their own feelings and are very manipulative. An abusive person will often say "you make me mad", "you’re hurting me by not doing what I ask", or "I can’t help being angry".
- Often are alcohol or drug abusers. (He didn't do drugs, but he did drink, and to excess many times)
- May have a family history of violence. (Yes, very much so)
- May be cruel to animals and/or children. (He wasn't cruel to animals that I ever saw, and I doubt highly that he would ever be, but our child with autism was severely abused. I'll go more into that at a later time)
- May think it is okay to solve conflicts with violence. (Yep)
- Often make threats of violence, breaking or striking objects. (Hitting, punching, the walls, banging his head into the walls, etc.)
- Often use physical force during arguments. (Read the hospital reports. Which I find strange no one in the family has asked to see which is a huge sign they are being manipulated themselves, or know the truth and are afraid to have it confirmed)
- Often use verbal threats such as, "I’ll slap your mouth off", "I’ll kill you," or "I’ll break your neck." Abusers may try to excuse this by saying, "everybody talks like that." (To me, his catch phrase was always, "I'm leaving!" Over and over for 27 years)
- May hold rigid stereotypical views of the roles of men and women. The abuser may see women as inferior to men, stupid, and unable to be a whole person without a relationship. (VERY much so)
- Are very controlling of others. (It's amazing to me how many of our sub contractors have told me of their experiences with him since they no longer are depending on him for a paycheck)
- May act out instead of expressing themselves verbally.
- May be quick to become involved in relationships. Many battered women dated or knew their abuser for less than six months before they were engaged or living together. (We were married 6 months after we met)
- May have unrealistic expectations. The abuser may expect his or her partner to fulfill all his or her needs. The abusive person may say, “If you love me, I’m all you need- you’re all I need". (He would tell me, "No one will EVER love you like I love you.")
- May use "playful" force during sex, and/or may want to act out sexual fantasies in which the victim is helpless. (Yes)
- May say things that are intentionally cruel and hurtful in order to degrade, humiliate, or run down the victim’s accomplishments. (Yes)
- Tend to be moody and unpredictable. They may be nice one minute and the next minute explosive. Explosiveness and mood swings are typical of men who beat their partners. (Yes, to me, not with the kids. Although there are two kids he belittled A LOT (to me at least), my oldest daughter, and our autistic son)
- May have a history of battering: the abuser may admit to hitting others in the past, but will claim the victim “asked for” it. An abuser will beat any woman he is with; situational circumstances do not make a person abusive.
- Threats of homicide or suicide: The abuser may threaten to kill himself, the victim, the children, relatives, friends, or someone else; (He told me numerous times of how he was going to kill himself in his first marriage, and he did in ours too. In fairness, I also wanted to die)
- Plans for homicide or suicide: The more detailed the abuser’s plan and the more available the method, the greater the risk he will use deadly force; (Yes, he told me numerous times of how he had planned his suicide both in our marriage and in his first marriage)
- "Ownership" of the victim: The abuser says things like "If I can’t have you no one can" or "I would rather see you dead than have you divorce me". The abuser believes he is absolutely entitled to the obedience and loyalty of the victim; (Remember, "No one will love you like I love you? He also told me, "If you leave me I'll close the business, move in with my brother and live for free. You won't get a dime.: Wow, he did just that.)
- Centrality of victim to the abuser: The abuser idolizes the victim, depending heavily on him or her to organize and sustain the abuser’s life, or the abuser isolates the victim from outside supports; (You're so beautiful, I shouldn't love you this much, You're gorgeous, etc. were common phrases in our marriage)
- Separation violence: The abuser believes he is about to lose the victim; (Yes, and the more he believed it, the more it drove me away)
- Repeated calls to law enforcement: A history of violence is indicated by repeated police involvement; (Just ask my neighbors)
- Escalation of risk-taking: The abuser has begun to act without regard to legal or social consequences that previously constrained his violence; and
- Hostage taking: He is desperate enough to risk the life of innocent persons by taking hostages. There is a very serious likelihood of the situation turning deadly. (I would be locked in our bedroom for hours upon hours. I wasn't allowed to speak, not even in therapy sessions. and he did try to kill me December 20, 2013. It's all documented.)
As for my kids I'll tell you what the professionals have told me. Psychological abusers play victim very well, they are exceptionally good at making people feel sorry for them, continually crying to gain sympathy. They portray themselves as very honorable (in his business he was) so nothing they do could be considered wrong. It's my belief that my kids are, as my doctors have stated, under his emotional control but can't realize it because they grew up with it. They also may be afraid of his actions should they speak to me or allow him to know they associate with me. As one professional prophetically stated, "He'll target the children with whom you are the closest and do everything in his power to destroy those relationships." He has done just that.
Then I read of how the "abused" spouse reacts and it was me to a T. This post is way too long for one sitting so I'll speak of my reactions in another post. They weren't all good, but now I understand why they were there, why I reacted the way I did and made the decisions I made.
That's all for tonight folks.