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#57746 - 01/28/04 02:50 PM question for survivors - verbal abuse
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Question for survivors:

My partner has relapsed badly.. our relationship is on serious rocks. He has resorted yet again to verbal abuse and is fighting me on everything. We have had some nasty fights lately, even on my birthday, when things get rough (I have been homeless and had to stay with him on account of some apartment repairs gone horribly wrong) and instead of rising to the occasion, he did the total opposite. He criticized me for my "approach" and my feelings, he pretty much let me know how much of an inconvenience all of this was to him, was angry that I could not "be there" for him when I was not even able to "be there" for myself with all the crap going on. Then when I told him that I could not handle this type of criticism, that i needed this support, that I felt so helpless and i could not be there for him.. he turned on me. Started insulting me, criticizing me, threatening me, picking apart the most tender, sensitive spots, and at one point even ripped my engagement ring off my hand.

What is it that might go through his mind that he would think that its even remotely ok to verbally and psychologically abuse me?

How scary must I appear to this guy for him to think that I possibly deserve such treatment?

Am very close to packing in this relationship. I know I have been a major source of support and hope on this site, but I just am so devastated that things have gone off the rails yet again.

I just dont think that my heart can bear another attack. I've been psychologically and verbally abused my whole life. I can't bear to think that this will continue for the rest of it. And I dont know how else to tell him how much he is hurting me but by leaving - similarly I dont know how else to protect myself but to leave.

He has gone to a lot of therapy, and he chose not to use any of the tools and tips that he learned over the past few years.

It just seems that he has no ability to just stop when things start getting crazy. I dont have it in me to just sit and take it. Is that so wrong? That I dont just sit and take it? That I fight back?

Its like he can see nothing but his mother in front of him, not me, not the friend he knew a long time ago, not the person he proposed to, but his mother who allowed some man to abuse him a long long time ago. Its like he gets possessed sometimes.

I am an abuse survivor myself and I have tried hard to separate the now from the then, to separate him from my father, to draw a distinction between the two.. and he just can't seem to separate any of us.

P


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#57747 - 01/28/04 06:16 PM Re: question for survivors - verbal abuse
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
PAS
I've often said that I've moved on and left some friends behind, not fallen out with them, just moved on.

I've moved on because I've worked bloody hard at it, I made a huge effort not only to accept therapy, but I didn't stop working on what I learnt the second I walked out of the door. I read books and talked to other survivors, eventually I ended up here - just like you.

I know how hard you work, how much you give, just by looking at the extrordinary support you give us all here.
You've survived your abuse, you do your work - are you also being expected to do your boyfriends ?

This is a "do it yourself" deal, as you know.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#57748 - 01/28/04 11:34 PM Re: question for survivors - verbal abuse
scarman Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 74
Loc: London On Canada
He isn't thinking when he is acting like this. It doesn't mean it is ok... and you definetly don't deserve to sit back and take it. He needs to know how you feel. He will either be at a point in his life when he can work with you as a couple or not. If he can, couple therapy would be a good start. If he can't right now, then you need to take care of yourself and put an end to your abuse. No person deserves a life time of it. And if you can stop it before you sign up for a life time of it, think seriously about going that route.

shawn \:\)

_________________________
scarman stands for the tatoos I have, and also the emotional scars I've accumulated from my past.

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#57749 - 01/29/04 12:40 AM Re: question for survivors - verbal abuse
gryffindor Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 131
Loc: St. Charles, Illinois
PAS,

How sad that this has happened. I am so sorry. You are a great support at MS. You deserve to receive the same kind of support. Scarman's advice is right on point. I think that if I were you, I would be afraid that after I was married I might be physically abused. I lived with my husband for six years before marrying him. I thought I knew him, but I didn't. He did not handle set backs easily. He allowed his boss to abuse him without protesting or making a determined effort to find a new job. He did the work of three men yet lived in fear of being fired. And through it all, he drank and took his anger out on me. I wish I had had the courage to divorce him years ago, but I had a small child and was afraid because I had no job, no money, and no where to go. If your bf is abusive now, he still will be after your married. He simply isn't ready yet.

Mary

_________________________
"Where there's a will, there's a way." American Folk Saying

"Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in darkness, I would not have recognized the light." Midrash Tehillim Ch. 22

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#57750 - 01/29/04 02:12 AM Re: question for survivors - verbal abuse
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
PAS

We're always saying hindsight is such a great thing. Hindsight is a bittersweet gift, PAS, because I have been looking into the last 5 years--hell, the last 22 years--and I have grown from it and I have found some closure and all that, but I have also seen the truly terrible life that I was living.

I can not tell myself anymore that I was in a good but troubled relationship, or that we didn't know what we were doing, or that I left the ones who hurt me behind when I left town. During the bad times I believed these things, and more, because I needed to keep myself going, I needed to justify my irrational emotions and my bad relationship. I can't anymore and I won't, and what's more, I will give up anything before I take myself and my children back into that life. Including the man I want to share my life with, if he's determined to take himself back there. I've told him as much recently. He knows this isn't a bluff and I hope that if our situations were reversed he'd let go of me before he let go of his shot at a better life.

Abuse is abuse. What your partner did was intended to hurt you and make him feel powerful. We don't want to believe that the people we love do this. We spend a lot of time and energy trying to change it, make what they've done be okay somehow, be our fault, be a relapse, be unintentional, anything but abuse. You talk in this post about needing to separate him from your father. You said something in a recent post about needing to see him as "like yourself." I think you ought to do some real thinking now about the difference between what you see because it's there and what you see because you put it there. PAS I am so sorry, I know these words sound terrible and harsh.

good luck, take care of yourself
SAR


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#57751 - 01/29/04 08:26 AM Re: question for survivors - verbal abuse
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
One of the saddest dynamics in our attempts to forge a committed bond with a survivor is that when the s&^% starts flying, we tend to find the survivor's psychology, mental state, & spiritual development to be far more compelling & fascinating than our own....

No matter how hard we try to break free - even if we end up discarding or escaping the relationship - we always seem to worry more about our partner or ex-partner more than we worry about ourselves.

I do not know if we will ever succeed in freeing ourselves from this dynamic, even as we cry out our howls of protest about the abusive behaviors. So many of us come into these relationships with "pasts" of our own - I wonder if we aren't simply too "comfortable" with them in our subconscious minds to ever truly break free????

PAS, SAR, everyone else - my heart breaks for all of us.

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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#57752 - 01/29/04 10:37 AM Re: question for survivors - verbal abuse
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
So many of us come into these relationships with "pasts" of our own - I wonder if we aren't simply too "comfortable" with them in our subconscious minds to ever truly break free????

PAS, SAR, everyone else - my heart breaks for all of us.
I dont know either.. we definitely have a much higher tolerance for shit and abuse than people who dont have the same kind of background.

My heart is breaking too.

That song "love.. love.. feels like a ball and chain.. I dont think that I could ever love again"... is running through my head.

He has no idea that I am thinking these thoughts. He thinks that everything is fine and that we are ok... and that everything is just marching forward merrily and happily... but inside I am sick about all of this.

We have been to couples therapy, he has been to anger management therapy, he is in group therapy for SA, I even paid $250 so he could go on an intensive retreat.. and still this happens.

I dont know what else we/he/I can do.

P


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#57753 - 01/29/04 10:42 AM Re: question for survivors - verbal abuse
James_dup1 Offline


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 1332
Loc: Wyoming
PAS,
Im so very sorry to hear about this. Living with a male survivor has to be next to impossable at times. I dont envey my ex or any of you. All I can say is to be sure to take care of #1 YOU! Your no go to him or anyone if you let his issues drag you down to where he is. Your support and kind words you have given so many here gives us a small look into your heart. And from what I can see you have a heart of gold. Thank you PAS for being here. And please take care of you, YOU DO NOT DISERVE TO BE ABUSED BY ANYONE, NO MATTER WHAT THEIR ISSUES ARE! (((((((PAS))))))))))
James

_________________________
I have more issues than Rolling Stone!


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#57754 - 01/29/04 12:39 PM Re: question for survivors - verbal abuse
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2259
Loc: Maryland USA
Quote:
He has no idea that I am thinking these thoughts. He thinks that everything is fine and that we are ok... and that everything is just marching forward merrily and happily... but inside I am sick about all of this.
PAS,

Then he is not really in the relationship with you, is he?

He needs to know about these thoughts. If he cannot make the effort to change his behavior when he knows how much it is hurting you, well, you know where that leads.

How much couples' therapy have you done? I had no idea how much my wife was hurting until we almost broke up back in 2002. We started couples' therapy then, and are still at it now. Maybe we had our issues more deeply embedded with 14 years together, but it might be helpful to you to return or continue the couples' therapy. It's still helping us.

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#57755 - 01/30/04 10:53 AM Re: question for survivors - verbal abuse
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Thanks for all your support.. actually I did get really firm with him after this latest incident and said that I will not spend one more dollar on the wedding or go forward with one more wedding plan until:

a) he contacts and meet with his T to discuss this and

b) we both meet with my T to discuss what happened and how this behaviour will affect me and the relationship in the long run

And that I will NOT be satisfied if he denies, deflect blame or otherwise minimize what went on between us. That we both are brutally honest about what was said and done and the effects of this on our relationship and on my mental health.

He agreed readily.

First thing he did right after that was to make his appointment (next Thursday) and tell me his available dates for meeting with my therapist.

I suppose that is something but phuuuuuuuuucckkk my head and heart and emotions are still reeling. I have had chronic diarrhea and nausea since the event.

I just have a hard time because this was not just your ordinary average "fuck off, bitch" verbal abuse which is bad enough, but he got into all my tender spots, yelled at me for having an anger problem (do you see the irony in that?) yelled at me for having an anxiety problem (again, any irony there?) told me I was no better than my abusive dad, that he was just fed up, that he loved me but he could not see a future with me, at one point he even ripped the engagement ring off my hand... all the really tender spots. Like rubbing salt in a wound. And when I got up to leave he just sat there, silent, stone like, no move to apologize, to recognize the seriousness of what was going on, to just STOP STOP STOP the madness!!!

And then when I begged him to snap out of it and look at and think about what he had said and where did he learn to talk about it he just started crying and saying "I dont know what comes over me and why I say the things I do and why I become a monster like that"....

Its so frustrating because he just does not want to accept any of my suggestions that maybe, just maybe he's still got some issues and pain and anger and denial deep down inside him about his mom, and how angry he is at her for all the stuff she did and how that led to him being a ripe candidate for molestation... and until he taps into that I think I'll continue to be his target.

During his "remorse" session that night I did say to him "did you ever think that you are just so deeply angry at your mother?" he goes "why??" and I went "because your mother was supposed to protect and love you, and she didn't, that she does not listen to you, she really does NOT give you space, she really was never safe for you, she never taught you about love, about sex, about relationships, that she set you up to be a needy kid who sought comfort and support from someone, and then that person who formed a relationship with you took advantage of you and TOOK whatever he wanted no matter what you wanted.. you spent so many years with peopel who really didnt give two shits about your own needs or wants.. and no wonder you just feel you have to take take take and abuse abuse abuse to get them!!"

He just replied "do you really think so?" and put his head into my chest and cried like he was 5 years old... it was so heart wrenching.

But in the end... I mean, come on, how much "monster behaviour" does he have to exhibit before he clues in that there is a big problem? I mean.. duuh! Obvious clues all over the place.

Lets hope he's into being honest and straightforward about this. Shining a light on this is definitely warrranted at this point. I fear this event is doomed to repeat itself until he is completely honest about the depth of his pain and anger towards his mother and does some real deep grief-release work.

Keep your fingers crossed.

P


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