Archive for March, 2011

Signs of An Abuser

March 28, 2011

From Dear Abby! I wish I had read this in July 1995! Ed gets 12 out of 15….80%! Wow!  No wonder it took me so long to get out from underneath all that! 

The signs of an abuser are:

(1) PUSHES FOR QUICK INVOLVEMENT: Comes on strong, claiming, “I’ve never felt loved like this by anyone.” An abuser pressures the new partner for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.

(2) JEALOUSY: Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly; prevents you from going to work because “you might meet someone”; checks the mileage on your car.

(3) CONTROLLING: Interrogates you intensely (especially if you’re late) about whom you talked to and where you were; keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to go anywhere or do anything.

(4) UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: Expects you to be the perfect woman and meet his every need.

(5) ISOLATION: Tries to cut you off from family and friends; accuses people who are your supporters of “causing trouble”; the abuser may deprive you of a phone or car or try to prevent you from holding a job.

(6) BLAMES OTHERS FOR PROBLEMS AND MISTAKES: It’s always someone else’s fault if anything goes wrong.

(7) MAKES EVERYONE ELSE RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OR HER FEELINGS: The abuser says, “You make me angry” instead of, “I am angry” or says, “You’re hurting me by not doing what I tell you.”

(8) HYPERSENSITIVITY: Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really mad. Rants about the injustice of things that are just part of life.

(9) CRUELTY TO ANIMALS AND TO CHILDREN: Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also, may expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (whips a 3-year-old for wetting a diaper) or may tease them until they cry. Sixty-five percent of abusers who beat their partner will also abuse children.

(10) “PLAYFUL” USE OF FORCE DURING SEX: Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex; finds the idea of rape exciting.

(11) VERBAL ABUSE: Constantly criticizes you, or says blatantly cruel things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names. This may also involve sleep deprivation, waking you up with relentless verbal abuse.

(12) RIGID GENDER ROLES: Expects you to serve, obey and remain at home.

(13) SUDDEN MOOD SWINGS: Switches from sweet to violent in a matter of minutes.

(14) PAST BATTERING: Admits to hitting a mate in the past, but says they made him (or her) do it.

(15) THREATS OF VIOLENCE: Says things like, “I’ll break your neck” or “I’ll kill you,” and then dismisses them with, “Everybody talks that way” or “I didn’t really mean it.”

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Think About the Future

March 23, 2011

“the future, the future, the future” – apparently I’m the only person who was obsessed with the Batman soundtrack in the early 90’s.

We took my son to look at a few colleges in Iowa Monday, it’s hard to believe that in a little more than a year he’ll graduate from high school and turn 18.  I was thinking the other day that at the end of his junior year he will take finals, go to football camp, go on mission trips and do some work as a camp counselor.  At the end of my junior year I took my finals early and had him, in fact, his father missed out on 6 hours of labor because he was taking his finals.

On the drive home I was thinking about the things that I want to apologize to my son for, like the divorce and it’s effect on him, and my decision to marry Ed in the first place.  I have said before that Ed was a good dad, and for the most part he was.  That said, I know it isn’t good for a child to be in an environment with a man who went from fine to pissed in 2 minutes or less.  There are some things that went on in the past that break my heart, and I hope that my son can live beyond them.

Stress and Wellness

March 8, 2011

Several years ago my regular physician talked to me about stress and it’s effect on my body.  She encouraged me to relax, not work so hard, not take on so many things.  But the problem is, I LOVE to keep busy, and not just a little bit.

I am infamous for being in the middle of everything.  Right now I am working full-time, going to school full-time, playing in a musical group, taking care of a husband, a teenager and three animals, and my husband and I are presidents of a year round high school booster club. On top of this I have a women’s group I would like to be more involved in, I host our families twice each week for dinner, I do 90% of the cooking and laundry and we take care of snow removal and yard work at our house plus two others.  Slow down just isn’t in my vocabulary.  On a normal day-to-day basis I enjoy all of these things and they don’t stress me, or if they do I think it’s “healthy stress”. 

Ed was a major stressor during our marriage, especially during our separation and during our divorce I don’t know how I made it out alive.  I have been having some health problems lately, and one of them has strong ties to stress.  It’s a problem I’ve had for a while, but we’re on the edge of getting a diagnosis.  I just wonder, was this something that I was destined for?  Would having gotten out of my marriage in 2000 made a difference?  What if I had never married Ed?  I know that all those things would have had a socioeconomic improvement, but what about my actual health? 

During our separation Ed had me going so many million directions emotionally that I ended up with some anxiety problems.  Working in healthcare I know that stress can cause different kinds of harm, especially emotional, I just never thought that mine was bad enough to make me physically sick.

To My 18 Year Old Self

March 3, 2011

Ok cool, you are done with high school and working full-time.  Losing Michael to the military is going to be the most painful thing that you have experienced up to this point, and sometimes you will still wonder if you did the right thing.  You were completely head over heels for him, but he still wasn’t enough.  It’s ok, in a few more years you’ll rope the right one.  Try to keep in contact with him and make sure that he sees our baby =) it will make life easier in the future.

Stop running around with the guy who doesn’t want kids, you have one already, you won’t be able to lobby him to your side.  Besides, he has some bumps in the road with recreational drug use, you don’t need to get in the middle of that!

Stop dating older guys, seriously, it’s enough.  In the long run you will want a best friend and partner, someone that you can share everything with, not someone that you’ll be a nursemaid for.  For that matter, leave the AA and NA guys out of the picture, you aren’t old enough to clearly understand alcoholism and addiction, you’re smart, but sheltered when it comes to dealing with addictive personalities!  When you meet Ed listen to the voice in the back of your head that says to RUN, he is a MASTER MANIPULATOR and he will make your life a living hell, he will do worse than anything any boy has ever done to you. 

Get excited about college and figure out how to work part-time instead of full-time while you go. It seems expensive now, but it will only cost more in the future.  Just because you can’t “go away” to school like you wanted to doesn’t mean that you aren’t worth a degree.  When Bryan School of Nursing calls and accepts you into the program TAKE IT!!! Don’t make any excuses, you can do your pre-reqs and classes at the same time.

Eat your vegetables and quit smoking.  You’re going to do it in the future anyway, might as well save the money!  Take your birth control pills religiously and don’t think that your body will be better without them, especially when you aren’t involved with anyone, it won’t be, you are going to make things worse, much worse!

Keep living at home, you have plenty of opportunities to do your own thing in the future.  It will be much better for the baby if there is always power, hot water and groceries.  In less than 15 years you will have everything you want, security, a home of your own, a man who thinks you hung the moon and a world of opportunity for your career.  Take a deep breath, I know this is a lot to think about!