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Domestic Violence Dealing with abuse and violence. Getting support and help.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2013, 07:25 PM
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Thank you Pokeman,

And I see that you are from Calgary - are you ok? Judging by what I see on TV --- it looks like hell! I hope that you are safe and dry. You must be very proud of your neighbors, thousands of volunteers! Good people to be sure
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2013, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
Over the years, I have had to leave him and stay in domestic violence shelters several times as my husband has anger issues and would be aggressive towards me. I never pressed charges and would forgive him with the hopes that he would calm down. Although things were far from perfect, I wanted this marriage to work and to raise our son together. (till death do us part - I know, I know!)
Interesting that the "domestic violence" shelters did not call the police. Generally on intake many of them require to report your attendance as to alert the police at minimum to avoid a missing persons report. Generally, the intake procedure requires them to contact the police and in most (not all) cases the police lay criminal charges against any person whom's spouse is residing in a "shelter".

Not saying you are miss representing what actually happened. Just curious as to why the shelter never alerted the police and notified them of your residential location. This generally gets the wheels turning for the criminal charge.

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Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
Last year the violence got so intense that my neighbors called 911 and my STBX was arrested and criminal charges were made.
As they should be if there was a violent situation that required the intervention of third parties to contact the police.

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Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
The police kept him in jail for 5 days and when released he was prevented from coming back home. Now there is a non-contact order and I have been living in the family home alone since then, doing my best to keep things going.
Interesting that he was held for 5 days. It is a rare case that someone is held for 5 days.

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Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
I know that I am in denial - I still want to work on this marriage, I still have feelings for him. My lawyer insists that I have nothing to do with him.
Your lawyer is absolutely correct. Furthermore, you should listen to the advice of your lawyer.

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I don't want my ex to go to jail - what good would that do him or myself?
A criminal charge doesn't automatically result in "jail time". It won't be decided until a trial is heard on the issues. A criminal charge doesn't mean guilt. It just means that enough evidence has been gathered to bring forward a charge but, it doesn't become a conviction and sentenced until a trial on the matter is heard.

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Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
The courts don't care about domestic violence, no fault divorce and all that, so this whole process seems a waste of time to me as it won't help the ex with his anger issues by rotting in a jail?
Here is the reason why the courts can't help the other person you are so concerned about... The court cannot order someone whom is sick to get better. There are underlying mental health issues which lead to 'anger' and then to violence. The court can't order someone who is unwilling to seek help on their own to be forced into treatment.

Even on a Form 1 they can only hold someone on a very temporary basis.

It all boils down to... You can lead a horse to water but, you can't make them drink.

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I have no family left and the shame of it all keps me isolated from others. I'm very fearfull for the future ... My self-esteem is hanging by a thread and I'm feeling hopeless.
I do advise you as you have expressed all the emotional states of depression to seek out help for yourself. You have expressed that you are feeling "shame", "isolated", "fearful" (anxious), self-esteem issues and finally feeling "hopeless" to seek out the appropriate medical attention. What you have expressed feelings often associated with depression/adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and/or depression. Do not be afraid to contact your family practitioner of medicine and seek the help you need. There are many people in our medical system here in Canada who can help you with your emotions and help you significantly.

You are not a weak person for seeking mental health help. Those who seek assistance for mental health and deal with their issues are incredibly strong people. You have come here, shared your story and demonstrated your strength. Don't be afraid to seek out help from a mental health professional. They can really help you through this time.

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Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
I asked for mediation to try to settle our divorce in a fair way, it was refused. I suggested therapy for both of us, it was refused. My ex is very bitter and blames me for all this mess ...
This is because a mediated solution can not be done when there is evidence to violence and/or abuse. The same requirements apply to family therapy and joint sessions with a custody and access assessor. If there is an allegation of abuse by either party they should not be put into the same room in a mediated situation.

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I don't know what more I can do, it seems hopeless. After all these years together I'm still willing to try to save things as I don't feel that divorce is the answer. Neither of us is seeing anyone else. Neither of us will benefit from a divorce - we will both loose.
Or you can look at it from the perspective that you both win. Clearly there is an emotional bond but not one that is healthy for either of you. You are feeling "hopeless" and experiencing other emotional distressing things. Imagine your life if you didn't feel this way? You can feel this way as a single person and you are not dependent on someone else to make you happy. Until you can be happy on your own being with someone won't make you happy. Sure, there are times you can remember that you were happy with the other person in your life. Keep those happy thoughts but, do realize that you can experience that happiness in other parts of your life. Don't be dependent on others to make you happy - learn to be happy yourself and then you will be truly happy.

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Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
So many men and woman have abused the system to the extent that 'real' domestic violence cases get no help at all.
I don't think this is the issue per-say. Short of forming the other party and forcing them into treatment isn't the solution. It may "feel" like the solution... But, the reality is... the horse to water theory...

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Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
We need help, not a divorce ... tell that to the lawyers who are bleeding him dry and making my life even more stressful than it was when I was being abused?
It does get better. You need time away from the situation but, until such time your matter goes to trial it is very stressful. Please do seek out the proper support from a mental health professional to assist you through this time. It is probably the best investment in YOURSELF that you will ever make. You will be happy you did.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2013, 12:07 AM
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Thank you Taken, I value your opinion.

I have gone to DV shelter,s in the past and received support, and council but never did they put pressure on me to press charges. Usually this is done by the ER staff or some other third party. The police who escorted me explained my rights but did not insist.

Statistically speaking most DV victims will leave their abuser several times before actually filing charges. Often they will try to have the charges dropped out of fear, shame or guilt. In my case it was a third party. When the police arrived they took photos, drove me to the hospital and yes I did press charges.

They kept the neighbors 911 call, my testimony and went ahead with the arrest and prosecution. The restraining order will be on-going until the trial.
I will have to testify whether I want to or not.

This happened over a year ago and is far from over. Same thing with the divorce, it will take time as mediation was refused.

I have been to group therapy and realize that this is nothing to be ashamed of - could happen to anyone - male or female, all ages and backgrounds.

Yes I'm depressed, but will be alright as I understand the cause of it.

I'm at the point where I feel sorry for him - he has serious issues and needs professional help, it's out of my hands. In my opinion this is a matter of too much devotion to the wrong person. Live and learn.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
Here's a few lines of inspiration that I read everyday - it was written by a woman who left an abusive partner 35 years:

'There are very good things I'm dwelling on tonight, no more fear of abuse or constantly being put down. No more isolation and having to stay 'in my room'. I can breathe and not be afraid when I hear a car come down the street.

God has been patiently teaching me that He provides just when I need it. Not a month before, but just at the right time. We don't need our ticket until we get on the train and God has done miracles for me these last few months. He has never failed me and won't in the future.

Remember, life isn't fair. Don't think about the should haves or the if only's. No matter how long you were married or what age you are, God never meant for love and marriage to hurt. I look forward to what God has in store for me. I'll be able to be close to my family, can have friends over, and make my own decisions.'

I think the hardest part of the recovery process is not forgiving the abusive spouse - it's forgiving ourselves ...

Jan XX
Thanks for that quote Janibel. I could have written that passage. Every word rings true.

I found it especially hard to forgive...until I realized that I needed to forgive myself above all.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2013, 11:29 AM
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I can honestly say Caranna, that of all the feelings associated with DV (a virtual Victory Garden-full of emotions) forgiveness is the most difficult one that I have had to deal with.

I can understand and forgive the STBX's behavior in light of his past issues with a dysfunctional family situation. I seem to have trouble applying the same towards myself. That is the core problem that we have to face.

This hurt will heal, as I refuse to think of myself as damaged. There's a lot of truth to the saying:'what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger'.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:30 PM
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I was angry when my eyes were opened to his abuse...I was in denial for decades. I finally realized this anger was mostly directed at myself, for accepting his abuse, especially for such a long period of time. The physical abuse was the hardest to get over. I'm still hurting from it emotionally.

He never offered a heartfelt apology, and if he had, I very likely would have stayed with him...especially if he had agreed to receive help. Shortly before leaving him, I stood up for myself during a minor disagreement. He showed his fist to me. I could see he would never change.

He was my world, and that was the problem, because I should have never let him overtake my heart and soul. He broke my heart and tried to kill my soul and my spirit.

I wish I could truthfully say that I have forgiven him completely. I have let go and let God take over. I have less anger now and am building a new life for myself.

It hasn't been easy, but I have never regretted leaving him. Life is much more meaningful now, and I have peace at last.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caranna View Post

He never offered a heartfelt apology, and if he had, I very likely would have stayed with him...especially if he had agreed to receive help. Shortly before leaving him, I stood up for myself during a minor disagreement. He showed his fist to me. I could see he would never change.
Our experiences are very similar ... the first meeting with my lawyer, I explained to him that all I really wanted was for the violence to stop, and for the STBX to 'man-up' and face the fact that he had anger issues. An apology would have made all the difference to me.

But abusers can't apologize because they don't accept that they have a problem to begin with. I have an ER documented case, police reports and photos and he still claims that it was just a simple argument?

His denial of the whole thing is causing the criminal case to drag on, so in a way I am being abused again as I will have to deal with this in the future.

Since our separation I have investigated his past criminal history and learned that he was violent even before I met him. Past gilfriends, school records of bullying and fighting. So I guess that his problems won't go away regardless of anything that I could attempt to do about it.

I was very young when I met him, I didn't recognize the 'red flags'. He seemed like a very charming and caring person to me - boy was I wrong!

The first time that he was violent, I was 8 months pregnant, and afterwards he put the blame on me for being 'over sensitive' because of my condition? What a winner?

I have forgiven the young woman that I was then, she didn't know any better .... I'm older and wiser now (thank God)
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2013, 09:52 PM
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I want to clarify that even if he had apologized and sought help for his abusive ways, I ​ might have considered "staying" with him, but on condition that he really did show change. Any more abuse and I would have left (or have had him leave) immediately.

Since I did not report his abuse to the police (indeed, I kept it a secret from every one), it is doubtful I could obtain information about his possible criminal charges.

He has always worn a pleasing persona to impress other people, very agreeable, and even charming. I was fooled by him too before marriage. People would have never guessed the person he really was and still is I imagine. The judge got a taste of his real self at the case conference this month.

I just wish he would realize that he can't control me any longer. It is time for him to let go.

Last edited by caranna; 06-28-2013 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
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The judge got a taste of his real self at the case conference this month.
Yes, the truth does eventually finds its way home. My STBX was verbally abusive to my lawyer (at the courthouse - with countless observers), also to the police officer who was accompanying me and to the DV advocate who just happened to be there for another case.

I was very upset by all this though my lawyer was pleased. Afterwards he reassured me that my STBX was making his job much easier by behaving like an idiot in public. My lawyer is certain that he will 'lose it' again once we appear before the judge, as his bitterness and anger are palpable.

It's been over a year now since the restraining order was issued, and on the rare occasions when I have been in his presence - I can't understand how I managed to spend/survive 27 years with this person?
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