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06/13/2011 09:22 PM

What is it?

picfreak09
picfreak09  
Posts: 19
Member

I've had some tell me that I came from an emotionally abusive relationship. He never kept me away from anyone or anything like that. He didn't call me names tho he would manipulate me by saying and doing things to play on my emotions. Sometimes it seemed like he would get a high on getting me so upset. That would happen on the average once every week or two. It was like no matter what I said or did he would find falt with it. I tried so hard to make things good for him but he would look past that and point out the things I didn't do not be happy for what I did do for him. Once that day was done then the next day he was all nice. Of course he wouldn't ever say he was sorry but it was like a cycle. I have looked up emotional abuse and he had some signs like it could be borderline. Was I in an abusive relationship?
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06/13/2011 09:35 PM
Izzy87
Izzy87  
Posts: 2731
VIP Member

I was about to respond to your diary entry, hoping you would post here on the forum! There is no such thing as "borderline" abuse, I don't think. And just from the little you put, he for SURE sounds like an abuser. The thing with emotional abuse is that it can be so terribly subtle. My abuser did not call me names directly (well, he did call me a bitch once under his breath) but he'd say other things. He called me useless, a lot. And he'd say "I can't take you anywhere" and then always treat it like he was joking and that I had no right to have hurt feelings about it. He didn't try to isolate me or control my activities or clothing. I always thought abuse was having someone screaming profanity at you, hitting you, threatening to kill you. So I just sat miserably inside myself, trying desperately to figure out what I was doing that was so displeasing to him. It is never enough...loving an abuser is like pouring yourself slowly into a black hole. And mine never apologized either, but the word sorry is inconsequential. If an abuser apologizes, it's only because they want to cement the idea that they are entitled to your forgiveness. They have to have their nice times, it's calculated, because it would make it a lot harder to keep a victim around. Abusers carefully "reprogram" our way of thinking so that we turn inward trying to figure out what WE are doing wrong; if he is nice sometimes, then we scramble to keep it that way, rather than focusing on the fact that he was so awful in the first place.

Keep posting, read the stickies here. I think you will find that you in the right place, welcome to the group ^_^


06/13/2011 10:16 PM
Meg1129
Meg1129Posts: 15222
Group Leader

The hallmark of abuse is manipulation. Healthy individuals don't have to manipulate others to get their needs met. Another red flag is that he seemed to enjoy upsetting you. That is definitely not healthy.

We strongly believe that knowledge is power here and in that regard, I encourage you to read our group bible, "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft. Bancroft has worked with thousands of abusers for nearly 20 years and really knows how they think and what motivates them. Once you are even halfway through this book, you will have total clarity about this relationship ... I guarantee it. I have pasted a link to it below on Amazon where you can read reviews of it, but you can get it at any bookstore or even your public library. If your library doesn't have it, ask if they can get it for you via inter-library loan.

http://www.amazon.com/Why-Does-He-That-Controlling/dp/ 0425191656/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308028276&sr=1-1

Also, below is a link to a really great article about emotional abuse that describes all the forms it can take, some of which you may recognize but didn't realize were abusive.

http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/manipulator/ emotional_abuse.shtml

Finally, rest assured that it had nothing to do with you. Abusive behaviour stems from a warped value system - a sense of entitlement, a low opinion of women and a need to control. Nothing changes that, no matter how hard you try to make someone happy.


06/14/2011 12:48 AM
momofbnb
momofbnb  
Posts: 259
Member

Izzy Thank you for clarifying that. It's stupid but I have felt guilty that I don't meet all the "normal" criteria. I always had control of the checkbook, mostly cuz He never wanted to have to deal with any responsibilities, also he didn't control where I went, although he would make us feel guilty, like if the kids got an ice cream and he didn't. He was a great apologizer, I now hate to hear someone apologize to me, which I need to heal because it effects my kids.

Lastly, I love your analogy!

...loving an abuser is like pouring yourself slowly into a black hole.

That just says it all.


06/14/2011 08:50 AM
Izzy87
Izzy87  
Posts: 2731
VIP Member

Abusers are different people like anyone else and have different priorities, so the tactics they use will vary. My abuser, his priority was geting sex and making sure I was available for that. He didn't try to control me because he was also expending energy in finding other girls. It also didn't benefit him to isolate me because we did not live together. His possessiveness was very evident in terms of material things however. I was not permitted to touch his computer, his video games, or his car unless I had "prior approval". He, on the other hand, had ample liberties with whatever I owned. Always as a "joke", he would insist, if I objected. I learned recently that one of his later girlfriends he actually DID attempt to control her friends and clothing. He has been honing his abuser skills since high school. Their tactics change as they foresee the benefits...that's why there is basically no difference between a physical abuser and an emotional one. The physical abuser just has pulled out a different tactic if they think they can benefit from it.

Thank you about the analogy! I use a lot of them lol


06/14/2011 10:04 AM
Meg1129
Meg1129Posts: 15222
Group Leader

Mine also did not control my actions much or try to isolate me from friends, but he was very controlling in other areas. I think that abusers all have the same basic makeup and will go to whatever lengths they need to accomplish their ends. If they can control you just with threats or yelling, then they don't have to go to the bother of punching you or pulling your hair or monitoring your cellphone. That doesn't mean they aren't prepared to, however, should they feel the need to.

06/14/2011 10:48 AM
picfreak09
picfreak09  
Posts: 19
Member

This is all very interesting. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I was doing research and I figured if he wasn't isolating me or controling things like that then it wasn't emotional abuse. He would always have to be in "control" of the situation. If he felt like I was taking control then he would cause trouble in some way. If HE had control he was all nice and acted like he was doing it all to help me or the situation. He knew how much I loved him and how much I was trying to make him happy. I think he played in that to get what he wanted. Even in contacting him now for various reasons, if I get ahold of him, he will ignore me or blow me off like whatever I was getting ahold of him about wasn't important and I was wasting his time. Now if it is the same topic and HE decides it's time to talk about it then he will get ahold of me and go on and on about it and act like he really cares about it.

06/14/2011 11:14 AM
mysecretlife
mysecretlife  
Posts: 675
Member

picfreak09,

Abusers and victims come from two very different realities. Your love and care for him is one of mutuality. You would be happy for his accomplishments, love him and encourage him and respect him. At the same time you would grieve with him at anything that hurt him in life. On the other hand, his reality as an abuser is one of Power-over. It is a "me first" reality. The only love abusere really feel is for themselves. In every decision they make in life, they are calculating what they can get out of it. They are not happy with their victim's accomplishments, but are jealous, looking at them as competition. They will only encourage you to do something if it benefits them, and will rarely feel any empathy for your failures or hurts in life. There is another great book that discusses the 2 realities. It is by Patricia Evans and is called "The Verbally Abusive Relationship."

Check out the book reviews on the site!

And keep coming back!


06/14/2011 11:15 AM
LadyLoralie
LadyLoralie  
Posts: 452
Senior Member

Hey Picfreak,

I just wanted to welcome you to the group, although I'm sad you are here because of your circumstance and what you endured. Your abuser was covert in his abuse. Sometimes they can be sarcastic, withhold affection, and make you feel guilty for being angry about the stupid thing they do, and try to turn it around so you feel badly for bringing it to their attention. Trust me hun, it isn't you it is him! I'm glad to hear you are away from him. It will take time to heal from this and "deprogram" from the abuse. As you break away and reflect on what happened and your feelings towards him disappear you will be able to see the manipulation, and see him for what he truly is... the wolf in sheep's clothing. You might also want to read about gaslighting and sociopaths. I'm not sure if your abuser is this way, but he may have these tendencies. Also, like others have said... get Lundy Bancroft's book!!! It is the best! You can look it up on google books and read excerpts of it now. It may help.

Hugs and Welcome,

LL

Post edited by: LadyLoralie, at: 06/14/2011 03:03 PM


06/14/2011 12:21 PM
Meg1129
Meg1129Posts: 15222
Group Leader

The following is from Bancroft's book, "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men."

"When Is It Abuse?

There is a difference between having a bad day and being a jerk and a pattern that adds up to something more serious. Behaviors such as name calling, interrupting and acting selfish and insensitive are hurtful and worthy of criticism but they aren't all abuse, except when they are part of a pattern of abuse. Abuse is about power, it means that a person is taking advantage of a power imbalance to exploit or control someone else.

The lines where subtler kinds of mistreatment end and abuse begins include the following actions:

He retaliates against you for complaining about his behavior- repeating behaviors he knows you dislike, switching into the role of the victim, ridiculing you for complaining of mistreatment. He doesn't believe tha tyou have the right to defy him.

He tells you that your objections to his mistreatment are your own problem- says you are too sensitive, you think everyone is abusing you, you're angry because you are not getting your own way. He is trying to persuade you that you have unreasonable expectations of his behavior, that you are actually reacting to something else and that you are using your complaints against him. These tactics are to discredit your complaints of mistreatment, which is abusive. His core attitude is "you have no right to object to how I treat you".

He gives apologies that sound insincere or angry, and he demands you accept them. He feels entitled to forgiveness and demands it.

He blames you for the impact of his behavior- For example, if she is mistrustful of him because of his mistreatment of her, he says that her lack of trust is causing her to percieve him as abusive, reversing cause and effect in a mind-twisting way. If your partner criticizes or puts you down for being badly affected by his mistreatment, that is abuse.

It's never the right time, or the right way, to bring things up- Initial defensiveness is comon even in nonabusive people. With an abuser however, even time after an argument to cool off doesn't help. In fact, the time between arguments may be used to build a case against you.

He undermines your progress in life- he tells you that you are incompetent at something you enjoy, causes you to lose a job or drop out of school, takes advantage of you financially and ruins your economic security, causes damage to your relationships with friends and family.

He denies what he did- denying actions such as name calling or pounding his fist on the table

Justifies hurtful or frightening acts or says you "made him do it"- He may tell you he can yell because you're not listening to him or says he will stop one form of abuse if you stop doing something that bothers him, which often will be something you have every right to do.

He touches you in agner or puts you in fear in other ways- even if it only happens once, physical aggression is abuse. If he raises a fist, punches a hole in the wall, throws things at you, blocks your way, restrains you, grabs you, pushes, pokes or threatens to hurt you, that is physical abuse. He is creating fear and using your need for safety to control you. Call a hotline as soon as possible if any of these things happens to you. Physical abuse is dangerous. Once it starts in a relationship, it can escalate over time to more serious assaults. Any form of physical initimidation is highly upsetting to children who are exposed to it.

He coerces you into having sex or sexually assaults you- sexual assault or chronic sexual pressure is abuse.

His controlling, disrespectful or degrading behavior is a pattern- wil you will need to form your own conclusions about whether your partner's mistreatment of you has become repetitive.

You show signs of being abused- are you afraid of him? Are you getting distant from friends and family? Is your level of energy and motivation declining, do you feel depressed? Is your self-opinion declining? Do you find yourself constantly preoccupied with the relationship and how to fix it? Do you feel like you can't do anything right?"

Post edited by: Meg1129, at: 06/14/2011 12:21 PM

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