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

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2006, 02:42 AM
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Default For those who think they will eventually get out...

For those of us in abusive relationships who think "someday I'll figure out how to get out." Be it saving up enough money, or once the kids get older, or whatever you're thinking that keeps getting out somewhere in the haze of "someday," I have a story for you. It is my own, and I've only ever shared it with the authorities, family, close friends. Not with anyone who would really understand.

Years ago, after my first divorce, I was alone with 3 small kids. I had a hard time adjusting to life as a single parent. I met a man who everyone thought was Mr. Perfect, including me. He said all the right things, did all the right things, etc. (Boy, I bet this is sounding familiar to some, eh?)

We moved in together & things were wonderful. Except there were a few of my friends who he didn't really like. Nothing overtly ugly about it, more "you could do better" kind of comments here and there. I honestly believed he was trying to help me be a better person. He encouraged me to quit my job and go back to school. I did. But then he encouraged me to stay home with the kids more. Then he didn't want me going out without him. (You guys are seeing the pattern already, aren't you?)

Well, I didn't see it then. I honestly thought he had my best interests at heart. He never said anything ugly. Never talked down to me. He was always encouraging and his reasoning was very logical to me at the time. It was only in hindsight that I see now when things truly started to go south. They started Day 1 with the first comment about "doing better" for friends.

To make a long story short, a year into our combined home life, I realized he had assumed total control over my life. It made me uneasy and uncomfortable. When I "fought back" for my independence, he never raised his voice. He never raised his hand. He just said no. When I pushed. He just said no. I contemplated leaving for another 3 months. I knew the relationship was going somewhere unhealthy. I knew there was something wrong when a man wants to keep you that isolated. When I finally threw up my hands and said "Enough. I want out. I want my life back to what it was." He calmly left the room. I thought he was leaving before an arguement ensued. (We had never had a "real" fight before)

I was so wrong. So, so wrong. He came back into the room and proceeded to fire 3 shots at me from a 9mm handgun. Only one missed me. The other two hit. I am lucky to be alive and breathing now, seven years later. The first bullet missed my heart by mm's. He is now serving time in the States for attempted murder.

My point in all of this is simple. If I had gotten out when my first instincts told me to, rather than worry about the kids missing him, about what they would think about "another" break up in mom's life, or how I was going to pay the bills, or what would happen with our house, or all the other truly meaningless "what ifs" that kept me there, if I had stopped thinking that somehow things would get better, we could find a therapist, or he would somehow see the light, I wouldn't have had to go through months of rehab, 2 surgeries, years of pain management therapy, as well as the last 7 years of psychological therapy to help me and my children move past it. (My children were home when he shot me)

Before the shooting I just thought he was controling. I didn't think of him as abusive. No one who knew either of us would have ever thought he would shoot me. I never dreamed he would do something so drastic. But he did. And he had every intention of killing me. The first shot was aimed center-mass of my chest. The second was as well, but because I fell down from the first, he missed and it hit me in the side as I fell away from him. The bullets were hollow points. He meant to drop me. He meant for me not to get up.

And the scariest thing? When the US courts ordered that he be evaluated by a psychiatrist prior to going to court? The psychiatrist said in his report that there was nothing wrong with him mentally...he was just mean!!!!

Believe me ladies, if you're in a situation you think you can't get out of? Look at the alternative. Look at what could happen if you don't. It's not easy to get out, but considering the alternative if you don't? There's no mountain too steep, ya know?
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Old 06-03-2006, 09:37 AM
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singleagain,

That is quite the experience you have been through. Talk about someone going postal at a whim.

I agree one has to really watch for warning signs of control. A person should accept you as you are and everything about you including friends, family etc.



lv
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Old 06-03-2006, 10:53 PM
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I thought the same thing at the time. He just snapped. But looking back, I can see signs here and there that the relationship was truly unhealthy. I can see where he started taking control over my life. I can see where he pushed and prodded to get me under his thumb, how he slowly over time changed the way I saw myself, the way I felt about things, all those subtle little changes you don't see until it's too late. Looking back, I can see blazing red flags that should have told me this guy wasn't Mr. Perfect. I should have left when I got that first instinct that said something was wrong. I should have run like crazy.
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:51 AM
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Default There is Life out there

Wow can I relate although I was not shot I thought that the man I had been with for seven years would one day find away to kill me. Even after I found safety and the courage to take my son and leave I was never safe... I ended up moving to an undisclosed location away from my home town of 35 years and friends and family that I loved... But for those of you who doubt you can do it get away, make it on your own, divide the assetts or what ever the excuse may be that keeps you there let me tell you there is help out there.. The local womens shelter in your neighbourhood in a great resource, your local church and people in the community will help you and your kids. Social Service programs will assist with housing and start up of up to 1500.00 to get you on your feet. Your local Salvation Army will help with clothing and furniture and other needs. I left in July of 2003 and since then I have moved to my own apartment, put myself through college which I thought I would never get to accomplish because I had my self esteem beaten from me.. I became a PSW and found rewarding work with mentally challenged adults at Comunity Living, In June of 2005 I met an amzing man who's patients, kindness, goodhearted spirit have taught me that really there is life out there.
I have now moved to another new town, I live with my amazing boyfriend and we will be looking forward to a wedding in 2007. My child has stability and a family and he is being a child well adjusted and just started high school. And in February of 2006 I began a course in college Paralegal Services although that is a far cry from a lawyer it is my goal to be able to assist women of domestic violence in finding the right legal services for them and pointing them in the right direction, as well as a PSW be able to assist them to get back on there feet its called PAY IT FORWARD... Trust me ladies there is help out there and if any one reading this is living the life I was were every day you thought it would be your last and you didn't know what to do next, how to save your self and your children, trust that there are people out there to help... I thank you for taking the time to read my story and please know that if I can ever help any one in any way I am here Shell
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singleagain
For those of us in abusive relationships who think "someday I'll figure out how to get out." Be it saving up enough money, or once the kids get older, or whatever you're thinking that keeps getting out somewhere in the haze of "someday," I have a story for you. It is my own, and I've only ever shared it with the authorities, family, close friends. Not with anyone who would really understand.

Years ago, after my first divorce, I was alone with 3 small kids. I had a hard time adjusting to life as a single parent. I met a man who everyone thought was Mr. Perfect, including me. He said all the right things, did all the right things, etc. (Boy, I bet this is sounding familiar to some, eh?)

We moved in together & things were wonderful. Except there were a few of my friends who he didn't really like. Nothing overtly ugly about it, more "you could do better" kind of comments here and there. I honestly believed he was trying to help me be a better person. He encouraged me to quit my job and go back to school. I did. But then he encouraged me to stay home with the kids more. Then he didn't want me going out without him. (You guys are seeing the pattern already, aren't you?)

Well, I didn't see it then. I honestly thought he had my best interests at heart. He never said anything ugly. Never talked down to me. He was always encouraging and his reasoning was very logical to me at the time. It was only in hindsight that I see now when things truly started to go south. They started Day 1 with the first comment about "doing better" for friends.

To make a long story short, a year into our combined home life, I realized he had assumed total control over my life. It made me uneasy and uncomfortable. When I "fought back" for my independence, he never raised his voice. He never raised his hand. He just said no. When I pushed. He just said no. I contemplated leaving for another 3 months. I knew the relationship was going somewhere unhealthy. I knew there was something wrong when a man wants to keep you that isolated. When I finally threw up my hands and said "Enough. I want out. I want my life back to what it was." He calmly left the room. I thought he was leaving before an arguement ensued. (We had never had a "real" fight before)
Wow, when I first read this, it sounded so much like my husband. We've been together for 15yrs and have 2 small children. I too questioned his control but like yours, he so attentive, understanding, encouraging .. everything that I craved at that time and I guess still do.

Thank you for posting your story. It makes others realize what control can lead to. Scary.

How did you come that you lived to tell the tale so to speak? Did he run out of bullets? Did you or your kids call the police?
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:56 PM
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Sorry, but where is the violence or threat thereof in this story that would require the intervention of the police?

Just leave and move on.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:39 AM
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dadtotheend I am deeply offended by your remark to just leave and move on. I was in the situation where at first my ex was controlling and slowly cut me off from family and friends. His way was the same, I was told that I was much better and should have better friends (there was never anyone good enough to be my friend) as for my family he would put ideas in my head to get me fighting with them. Once he assumed control, then the abuse started. He was so good at what he did I never seen what he was doing to me until I finally got the courage to move out.

I think you owe an apology to everyone on this board female or male who has went through a situation where one partner controls the other. It is obvious you have not went through it so you do not understand the emotions etc. As for threat of violence, it will happen. They get so you dependent on them by controlling what you do, who you see etc that when the abuse starts you blame yourself. You are cut off from a support network.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:43 AM
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One thing I forgot, if you are talking about singleagains situation read the original post again, not the quote. She was shot two times.
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:52 PM
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Yes, you're right, I'm sorry. I only saw the excerpted part of that story in the post immediately above mine. None of the violent parts of that story are in that post. In fact the excerpted part that I read ends just before the violent part.

I just saw the first post in the thread now and understand what an oversight I made. Please accept my apologies everyone.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:02 PM
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It may be "obvious" what I went through to some, but you don't know that I was on the wrong end of an antisocial personality disorder. I endured the violence that comes with the drug and alcohol addiction that is so often symptomatic of disordered personalities.

Even though I was not as physically threatened because I am bigger and stronger, I was in danger physcially because of her flasht temper. One time in the Bahamas she beat the living hell out of me with a lamp in the hotel room. At the weddding cermemony we attended the next day, my ribs were bruised and I could barely breathe. There were numerous other incidents where I was hit and objects were thrown at me, in which I sustained injuries.

On top of all that, I was constantly subjected to the emotional abuse due to the personality disorder where I was the one with the problem. I know exactly what it feels like to have your self-esteem beaten into the ground. It took me a year of separation before I understand this.

Please don't presume how "obvious" it is what I went through. I think you owe me an apology.
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