Monday, April 25, 2005

Men have a hard time telling on themselves

Somebody you know (and probably like) abuses. Maybe your spouse/partner does. Maybe you do. On this site, Blaine Nelson reaches out to help women of abuse, men of abuse and relates his own struggle to overcome it and live a healthier life. To his credit, he allows his target to tell her story uncensored. Interestingly, his wife was able to describe the actual abuse and how she allowed herself to be intimidated and subjugated to his controlling ways. She was able to describe her fear and how she worked past the fear to gain the courage to break free.

Blaine wasn't able to describe even one abusive act on his part--only able to generally describe that he was. He is doing a lot to help others but on this site, is unable to let us see his abusive self-- I'm glad he's doing what he is to right the wrongs, but actually admitting what he did would go a lot further for me. Take a look at this interesting abuse site. It tells how this couple moved past it and it wasn't by staying together.


  1. Admitting it, owning up. I have found this to be the hardest thing for the man that verbally/emotionally abused me too. Even 5 years later, any time the subject comes up because I still see signs of verbal abuse in him, he refuses to admit to it and tells me that I love to "live in the past." Or how I "must be perfect because I've never said anything mean to anyone." I have been mean; I have been verbally abusive. I think we ALL are to some degree. You can hardly live in this world and not be the target or abuser and both at different times. Awareness of what it is, watching yourself and your "enabling" (Shelly may disagree with me on that statement) and watching your own verbal abuse (even if it's slight or infreuquent) is the way to freedom. Admitting that you are/were/still are a verbal abuser, though, is the key to the corridor of freedom.

  2. Disagree about enabling? Never. I think we have choices and if we chose to let an abuser abuse us, we enable him. See the blog on May 23rd that Abuse requires a partner! thnaks dawn for the comment but I know we enable, evenif it took me years to understand that!

  3. >>he refuses to admit to it and tells me that I love to "live in the past." <<

    Dawn, I am estranged from your's clone. But I have come to the personal conclusion that mine is mentally ill. No-cure type of narcissist. Evan's work CONTROLLING PEOPLE talks about these sorts of abusers live in "their own reality" and literally add and delete what they want, choose or have the ability to remember from their psyche.

    So owning up? sorry not in their vocabulary.

    On the other hand, I don't think you can ENABLE abuse until YOU recognize & admit that it IS abuse. I have spoken to toooooo many women all too ready to fill in the blanks for their abuser & pick up the responsibility that their abuser never would for the health of their relationship. Until you can admit that you are being abuse - you can't admit that your love & care is actually a form of enabling....

    and then there's those of us who were raised by an abuser where "enabling" behaviors were part of our survival skills.

    great post

  4. Something we often don't understand--not only do we enable (and yes Barbara, you to recognize it as abuse first) is that we actually encourage the abuse. If they yell and we get quiet, if they demand and we comply, if they blame us and we try to do better next tiem, what have they learned? that their abusive tactics work! Us being lovidng and giving and trying to please them is the very thing that encouarges them to treat us badly. Breaking the cycle has to begin with us NOT reinformceing the maltreatment. Remember, not only do we enable, but we encourage! Great insights.

  5. She has stopped encouraging abuse now, yet she has nowhere to stay the night. She has heard of domestic violence shelters, but surely those are for people who get beaten up? They would laugh at her if she asked for sanctuary. Besides, she has no idea where to go.

    She lives miles away from family and friends, and now has no-one to call on. The police? She hasn't been punched. If they don't believe people who have been raped, why would they believe someone who has been emotionally and verbally abused? Besides, what could they do?

    The doctor?
    "If this is an emergency..."
    No, it's not an emergency. She's not dying (although she feels like she's already died inside.) She can't waste their time over her stupid personal problems.

    So she has nowhere to go. She ran away from him during one of his rages. She is scared, tired from his bullying and his keeping her from sleep. She doesn't know what's wrong with her or why this is happening. She's sure it is her fault (she takes responsibility), and she is ashamed of that. She knows she is weak and useless, and that he surely wouldn't abuse her if she knew how to stop "enabling" and "reinforcing the maltreatment". However, nothing seems to work. She tried reasoning, tried listening, suggested counselling. She tried to be more assertive, and this was the biggest mistake. The stronger she grew, the more vicious his attacks became.

    What now? It's cold. She doesn't have money for a hotel. Maybe she could sleep in a bush, but she's scared. What if a drunk walked by and started to harrass her? She creeps into a bush and tries to lie down, but it's too uncomfortable. Insects crawl around her legs. Sticks dig her in the back, and the grass is damp.

    She has been crying for a long time now. Cars pass her by on the road, but no-one seems to notice her distress.

    It's 3am, and she knows she has to go to work in the morning. Here she is, tear-stained and dirty, dressed in her sweatpants and T-shirt, hair all messed up. She has to get herself back together. She HAS to go to work tomorrow, and she can't go like this. THERE'S NO OTHER CHOICE. She has to go back "home". She's got to stop over-reacting. She must find new ways of dealing with his temper.

    Time to take a deep breath... "ahhhhh". OK. Be strong, try to put another thought in your head so you can get through this night and at least get to work in the morning. Pretend you are someone else. Keep thinking, keep trying. Know that you deserved this, and prepare to take some more. You just need to stop encouraging it. OK.

    She walks on, the crying more like whimpering now. She gets to her house. Oh god, what if he locked the door?! Luckily he didn't. He didn't want to upset the neighbours any more than they have been already. He's so embarrassed about having to live with a nutcase.

    She opens the door. The house is dark, she hears his snoring. She slips inside. Still whimpering quietly, she creeps into the bed beside him, hoping not to wake him, hoping not to provoke a new tirade or a fumbling, insensitive attempt at sex. She lies there frozen, destroyed, and waits for sleep to overtake her.

  6. My heart aches for any woman who has found themselves in the situation just described by the post above. The pain felt by the woman still trapped runs deep and surely many of us have felt that. Yet, the change has to begin with us. It is because of this kind of thinking, “I am hopeless and helpless and can do absolutely nothing against this man,” that you will have to stay a victim.

    This site is for women who have fallen for this type of victim mentality. You have to make some choices in your life—has this woman abdicated everything that makes her human? It sounds like it. She knows there are shelters, she has family (albeit far away but they exist), she works, she has not one friends that she can confide in? DV groups and shelters do take women who are afraid and not been hit, is there nothing to hock to get away, a pay check can buy a bus ticket out of town, and if he gets worse as she refuses to take abuse, then he will not change and if she wants to claim herself it will be without him.

    If she tried these things:
    “She tried reasoning, tried listening, suggested counselling. She tried to be more assertive, and this was the biggest mistake. The stronger she grew, the more vicious his attacks became.”

    Most of these don’t work and counseling and assertiveness only work if handled properly (the tutorial addresses each one of these). I hate to hear about women who believe they have no choice----but only they do have the choice. I can’t make it for them. So we put together this site to show the dysfunction and to expose the “victim” mentality for what it is, keeping us down and keeping us contributing to our own pain. It doesn’t have to be this way and it has to begin with us.


Please be respectful in how you use language.