Thanks for having this on your blog. It's so sad, but needs to be said/shown. Hopefully it will help save the lives and sanity of many. I wonder if viewers will know what they are seeing. 1. The cycle of abuse--and it's all HIS cycle and has nothing to do with her. There's the sweetheart phase, which changes into the gripe/build up to rage phaze. In Bobby, the build-up was very fast. In some abusers it can last for days. Then the abuser finds some excuse to "explode," often in physical violence that is aimed at his spouse, girlfriend. After he sees she has become distant, he goes into the I'm sorry phaze, or he excuses/justifies his behavior and makes it her fault. Either way, he brings it back to the sweetheart phaze and the cycle starts all over again. Some abusers--especially those who don't erupt into physical violence--may constantly keep it in the gripe build-up phaze and pepper that with verbal explosions. These types are nasty most of the time, which may help a woman want to leave sooner. Often she blames herself and thinks she just isn't communicating well enough, or that if she could just find the right way to behave he would be loving toward her again. 2. Some of the more subtle things the guy, Bobby, in the story did was manipulate his girlfriend into feeling sorry for him and obligated to stay with him. Notice that he could control his anger elsewhere. It was only with Stacy that he appeared to lose control. That, too, is a control tactic. A big part of the abuse pattern is to separate/isolate a woman from other friends. The "jealous" rages helped accomplish that. Abusers act like they literally own the other person, like that person has no rights, no life, outside of what the abuser allows. 3. Since this is a story of abuse in dating relationships--both the mother's and the daughter's, the abuser did not live in the same house with his girlfriend, which means he was somewhat limited in how frequently he could abuse her, and how much he could control her. She still had a safe place to sleep at night and to go to for safety. Yet, he did enter her bedroom without permission and did not leave when ordered to do so, but instead manipulated her to agree to always be his and never leave him. I point this out to say that a woman or child who lives with the abuser, has no place of safety, especially if the abuser will not allow them to go out in public. Women who have to go to work may be beaten up if they do not return home at a specified time, so they always are afraid something will keep them from getting to the non-safety of home in time. Many abusers also "visit" their victims at the workplace, making the workplace also unsafe. So the feeling of danger, of insecurity is constant. It is like living in a war zone in your own house, at your school or workplace. You never know when a land mine will blow up in your face. 4. Note too, that Bobby was stalking Stacy. This would give him fodder to fly at her in a "jealous" rage, and he'd be close by to attack her at any time. The sad part is that many Christian women are stuck with their abusers because the teaching they have heard from their pastors, from Christian radio and Christian TV does not "allow" them to leave and still be doing right in God's eyes. Their male abusers also use spiritual abuse by claiming the right to be in authority over their victims, and by demanding that their wives obey their every whim. Often, they change their demands, so that a woman never knows what will be acceptable to her abuser. (Yes, women can also be the abusers, and that is also very sad and painful for the victims. However, women do not have the teaching of the greater Christian church to back up their insistance on their right to have what they want at all times.) Some of the signs that he is nearly ready to move into physical abuse is that the nastiness escalates, and he starts doing physical things that can seem to be accidents, like standing too close to you in the kitchen and stepping on your foot, or blocking you in the hall, or not allowing you to leave the house, or taking the keys, or disabling the car. Other signs are hitting the wall or kicking the dog; it's a threat saying he may hit you next if you don't watch out. Any pet abuse is a definite sign that physical abuse to you is probably coming very soon. By the way, shoving you, biting you, pinching you, these are also physical abuse. Even breaking your things on purpose is a physical act on physical things, and comes under the heading of physical abuse. It is definitely a threat and an attempt to intimidate you. If any of these are happening, get to safety as soon as possible. If your boyfriend, husband, spouse, wife, or whoever is abusive to you, starts to do these things, begin immediately to formulate a plan for getting away.I think stories like this can help people better understand how abusers work, the sense at first that the abuse is a one-time thing, and eventually the day to day fear and dread the victim of abuse lives with, the attempts to explain away the abuse, and the effect on their self-esteem, grades, etc that living with an abuser has on the victims. To that end, I wrote a novel, Behind the Hedge, showing mostly non-physical abuse of a "Christian" man toward his wife and children, and how it effected the whole family. My intent on mentioning it here is to let readers/viewers know that there is such a resource available--both for those whose abusers have not yet escalated the abuse into physical assaults, and for those not in abusive relationships, so that they can better understand what the victims are going through and provide better support and help.One last word: people who use these types of control on others are not safe to be with. Although they can be "nice" and charming most of the time, if they use abusive tactics to control others--even non-physical abuse--NEVER consider yourself safe with them. NEVER.
Behind the Hedge is a book I would recommend!Waneta Dawn forgot to mention she has won awards for her book!P.S. Your comments are right on! Thank you!
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