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Physical abuse, one strike and you're out?

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I was in a physically abusive relationship and as a result ended up with two black eyes at the same time. I went back to the guy (term used loosely) because I figured he would change. He was apologetic and back then, that was good enough for me. The violence continued...

I know why I stayed with him and that is because I witnessed that kind of stuff as a child. It was only through therapy that I came to this realization. For years I blamed myself (I should have kept my mouth shut, I should have had dinner ready...) In my mind, someone getting drunk and then becoming abusive was par for the course :crying2:. I learned as a child that after getting beat up on, a person stayed with the perp. I didn't know any better but only mimicked what I saw.

I know that this is a sensitive subject - but for those who have been physically abused by a lover, did you stay after the first time? If you stayed, why did you stay? Was one time all it took for you to leave?

I am hoping that this post will give a person out there who is a victim of it, the strength to leave. When I was going through it people would tell me to just leave. It isn't always that easy to just up and leave. I certainly didn't. I wanted so badly to be loved even though the cost was a busted up face and zero self-esteem. I was a broken woman.

I have goosebumps posting this as it is certainly not a pleasant subject, but let's face it; it happens. Domestic violence has no boundaries. The one positive - because there is always a positive even in extreme cases - is that I will NEVER and I mean NEVER allow myself to be treated that way again.

National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.

Edited by Poi Dog
added a word

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Poi, I am so sorry and saddened by your story. I was not physically abused but, I was emotionally abused , and it is just as bad. You don't have any self worth and you think you can't do any Better. I applaud you for saying what you have gone through. You story may strike a cord in a woman or man, who sees the light. It is never okay to put your hands on anyone for whatever reason! I am sending happiness and good vibes your way if you have ever experienced this type of situation. please know that you are NOT alone.

L

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I was in a physically abusive relationship and as a result ended up with two black eyes at the same time. I went back to the guy (term used loosely) because I figured he would change. He was apologetic and back then, that was good enough for me. The violence continued...

I know why I stayed with him and that is because I witnessed that kind of stuff as a child. It was only through therapy that I came to this realization. For years I blamed myself (I should have kept my mouth shut, I should have had dinner ready...) In my mind, someone getting drunk and then becoming abusive was par for the course :crying2:. I learned as a child that after getting beat up on, a person stayed with the perp. I didn't know any better but only mimicked what I saw.

I know that this is a sensitive subject - but for those who have been physically abused by a lover, did you stay after the first time? If you stayed, why did you stay? Was one time all it took for you to leave?

I am hoping that this post will give a person out there who is a victim of it, the strength to leave.

Good for you, Poi. To have lived through such abuse and be able to not only learn from it, but to pass on the learning to Others, is a beautiful thing.

I chose to quote a portion of your comment so I could reinforce some areas for you and anybody else who is interested. I wish to applaud you again, as you are able to separate yourself from the behavior, and dare I say, the emotions coupled with such trauma.

First, you say you went back to the guy because you thought he would change. Two concepts come to mind here:

The first was made known to me by Joseph Campbell, who said something like, "The conscious is changed through trials, tribulations and the subsequent illuminating revelations". Rarely, and I do mean rarely, do people change their behavior.

Second, People will use methods they know that will work for them. The more they use a certain technique, the easier the technique becomes for them, no matter how others may view this technique. And know this: If someone has done something just once in their lives, they stand a higher propensity to repeat that behavior than someone who has never exhibited such behavior.

The other area I wanted to comment on was on you mimicking behavior that you saw and were probably involved in. This concept was made known to me by a book by the Pieper/Pieper MD/Phd team titled Addicted To Unhappiness. Basically, the concept says that we are drawn toward the behavior our Primary Caregiver showed us. We interpretted that behavior as a show of love, since the first person we love outside of ourselves is our Primary Caregiver. We are often doomed to be drawn to behavior in an attempt to replicate that first love feeling.

Pocessing the ability to identify our role in the dysfunctional relationship and cease the destructive pattern is of paramount importance in the road to becoming a emotionally and mentally healthy Individual.

To you, Poi, I say, "You're on your way".

The very best to you.

Dave

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Good for you, Poi. To have lived through such abuse and be able to not only learn from it, but to pass on the learning to Others, is a beautiful thing.

I chose to quote a portion of your comment so I could reinforce some areas for you and anybody else who is interested. I wish to applaud you again, as you are able to separate yourself from the behavior, and dare I say, the emotions coupled with such trauma.

First, you say you went back to the guy because you thought he would change. Two concepts come to mind here:

The first was made known to me by Joseph Campbell, who said something like, "The conscious is changed through trials, tribulations and the subsequent illuminating revelations". Rarely, and I do mean rarely, do people change their behavior.

Second, People will use methods they know that will work for them. The more they use a certain technique, the easier the technique becomes for them, no matter how others may view this technique. And know this: If someone has done something just once in their lives, they stand a higher propensity to repeat that behavior than someone who has never exhibited such behavior.

The other area I wanted to comment on was on you mimicking behavior that you saw and were probably involved in. This concept was made known to me by a book by the Pieper/Pieper MD/Phd team titled Addicted To Unhappiness. Basically, the concept says that we are drawn toward the behavior our Primary Caregiver showed us. We interpretted that behavior as a show of love, since the first person we love outside of ourselves is our Primary Caregiver. We are often doomed to be drawn to behavior in an attempt to replicate that first love feeling.

Pocessing the ability to identify our role in the dysfunctional relationship and cease the destructive pattern is of paramount importance in the road to becoming a emotionally and mentally healthy Individual.

To you, Poi, I say, "You're on your way".

The very best to you.

Dave

Thanks, Davey :redbeathe

The bolded part stuck out to me. I thought that if I worked on myself and showed him how much I loved him that he would change. I was so off-base. To people looking in, the solution was simple: leave him. Being in a situation like that, clouds one's vision. The what ifs and the good times made me hope that he would change.

Poi, I am so sorry and saddened by your story. I was not physically abused but, I was emotionally abused , and it is just as bad. You don't have any self worth and you think you can't do any Better. I applaud you for saying what you have gone through. You story may strike a cord in a woman or man, who sees the light. It is never okay to put your hands on anyone for whatever reason! I am sending happiness and good vibes your way if you have ever experienced this type of situation. please know that you are NOT alone.

L

Thanks, L :redbeathe I appreciate you sharing your story.

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Poi, this is a subject many people don't want to address. My father was a verbally abusive man when he drank. I never thought I was good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, etc.

My first husband was the exact opposite of my father. He was a good husband and father and was very supportive of anything I wanted to do. After he died, I spent the next few years rearing children. I dated some, but not much.

When I was in my late 30's/early 40's I started dating a guy I'd grown up with. He was an alcoholic/drug addict that I was going to save! I was in a relationship for 5 years w/ this guy who was verbally & physically abusive. He'd get loaded, beat me up and I'd call the cops and then take him back. I was very sick then. I guess I figured that I couldn't do any better, heck I was getting older and wanted someone to be with. I didn't get the balls to leave until I came home early from work one day and caught him in bed w/ my "friend".

For the next 3 years I worked on me. Lots and lots of therapy and crying. When I finally decided I was happy being alone and single, I met my second husband. He never raised a hand to me or even raised his voice. He was so much like my first husband it was unreal. Many people who knew both of them made the same comment. We were together 6 years, and as you know, I lost him 8 months ago to prostate cancer.

Lo and behold! Last week the old boyfriend (the drunk) called me out of the blue. I go to the same church as his parents, so it didn't take rocket science to find me. He's been sober now for about 9 years and is doing well for himself. We met for coffee and had a nice visit. I'm proud of the fact that he's changed his life around. Then he dropped the bomb! After appologizing again for the way he treated me, he wanted to know if I'd be interested in seeing him again. WTHeck! I actually told him I'd think about it. I must be crazy to even entertain that thought.

I met w/ the therapist I've been seeing for grief counselling and told her the whole story. I told her I didn't want a relationship now because I'm still working though my berevement, but I wanted a friend. She let me talk until I'd convinced myself that was a road I didn't care to travel down again. I saw said old boyfirend at church today and told him we needed to talk. I explained that I didn't think there was any chance of us being together again because even though I've forgiven him, I'll never forget the way he treated me. He kept saying how much he'd changed and I told him that I'd pray for him to find a good woman to love. I walked away to my car before he had a chance to say anything else.

Thanks for bringing up this topic, Poi.

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Poi, this is a subject many people don't want to address. My father was a verbally abusive man when he drank. I never thought I was good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, etc.

My first husband was the exact opposite of my father. He was a good husband and father and was very supportive of anything I wanted to do. After he died, I spent the next few years rearing children. I dated some, but not much.

When I was in my late 30's/early 40's I started dating a guy I'd grown up with. He was an alcoholic/drug addict that I was going to save! I was in a relationship for 5 years w/ this guy who was verbally & physically abusive. He'd get loaded, beat me up and I'd call the cops and then take him back. I was very sick then. I guess I figured that I couldn't do any better, heck I was getting older and wanted someone to be with. I didn't get the balls to leave until I came home early from work one day and caught him in bed w/ my "friend".

For the next 3 years I worked on me. Lots and lots of therapy and crying. When I finally decided I was happy being alone and single, I met my second husband. He never raised a hand to me or even raised his voice. He was so much like my first husband it was unreal. Many people who knew both of them made the same comment. We were together 6 years, and as you know, I lost him 8 months ago to prostate cancer.

Lo and behold! Last week the old boyfriend (the drunk) called me out of the blue. I go to the same church as his parents, so it didn't take rocket science to find me. He's been sober now for about 9 years and is doing well for himself. We met for coffee and had a nice visit. I'm proud of the fact that he's changed his life around. Then he dropped the bomb! After appologizing again for the way he treated me, he wanted to know if I'd be interested in seeing him again. WTHeck! I actually told him I'd think about it. I must be crazy to even entertain that thought.

I met w/ the therapist I've been seeing for grief counselling and told her the whole story. I told her I didn't want a relationship now because I'm still working though my berevement, but I wanted a friend. She let me talk until I'd convinced myself that was a road I didn't care to travel down again. I saw said old boyfirend at church today and told him we needed to talk. I explained that I didn't think there was any chance of us being together again because even though I've forgiven him, I'll never forget the way he treated me. He kept saying how much he'd changed and I told him that I'd pray for him to find a good woman to love. I walked away to my car before he had a chance to say anything else.

Thanks for bringing up this topic, Poi.

Thanks for sharing your story :redbeathe I feel the emotional toll that it took for you to describe your experience. I am proud of you for telling your ex what that he is not going to be a part of your life again.

I am not ashamed of what I went through. It took me many years until I was able to tell myself - sincerely - that I did not deserve to be abused like that. No one does and no one should have to live in fear.

I believe that our recounting our stories just may help someone out there. My PM box is open and I have strong shoulders.

M

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Thanks for sharing your story :redbeathe I feel the emotional toll that it took for you to describe your experience. I am proud of you for telling your ex what that he is not going to be a part of your life again.

I am not ashamed of what I went through. It took me many years until I was able to tell myself - sincerely - that I did not deserve to be abused like that. No one does and no one should have to live in fear.

I believe that our recounting our stories just may help someone out there. My PM box is open and I have strong shoulders.

M

Recounting our stories helps us and others who may be in the same position. :redbeathe

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I would like to express myself to you Ladies of a Higher Conscious who attained your level of understanding due to your own trials, tribulations, and subsequent illuminating revelations. I hold you in the highest of esteem for taking the difficult road to a Greater Understanding. Although we are no more than words on each other's monitor screen, I feel the deepest feelings I could feel for you, knowing that you are somewhere living a life.

Poi, thank you so very much for having the courage to weather the storms of your life. Thank you for allowing me to experience a portion of your own growing process. Thank you for desiring to pass that experience of growth on to Others, so they, too can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And finally, thank you for keeping that wonderful sense of humor you pocess that we may enjoy you in the multiple aspects that make you Who You Are.

Hospice Nurse LPN: Your story was so very touching. I cannot adequately convey the words to describe the feelings I felt as I read Your Post. I feel honored that you shared such intimacies of your life.

I've since thought about some of my own words I had written yesterday in one of my posts. I said, "Rarely, and I do mean rarely, do people change their behavior." As I reviewed my own words, My Little Voice that speaks within my head played the Devil's Advocate. My Little Voice said, "Well- oh yeah? What about all those People who you've met, worked with, and were inspired by, that worked a 12 Step Program?" The thought came back to me as I read these words in your post:

He's been sober now for about 9 years and is doing well for himself.

People do change their behavior. Changing One's behavior, as you are well aware, requires feats equal to the Trials of Hercules. Joseph Campbell referred to the process as "The Hero's Journey". Basically, The Hero experiences great hardships on the Journey Through Life and returns from the Painful Journey a Different Person. Different, in that the Individual experiences reality with a new perspective.

Perhaps Professor Campbell's own words describe the whole process more adequately: "The mystic swims in waters where others drown."

I doff my proverbial hat to you Ladies of Higher Conscious, you Heroines.

Dave

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I would like to express myself to you Ladies of a Higher Conscious who attained your level of understanding due to your own trials, tribulations, and subsequent illuminating revelations. I hold you in the highest of esteem for taking the difficult road to a Greater Understanding. Although we are no more than words on each other's monitor screen, I feel the deepest feelings I could feel for you, knowing that you are somewhere living a life.

Poi, thank you so very much for having the courage to weather the storms of your life. Thank you for allowing me to experience a portion of your own growing process. Thank you for desiring to pass that experience of growth on to Others, so they, too can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And finally, thank you for keeping that wonderful sense of humor you pocess that we may enjoy you in the multiple aspects that make you Who You Are.

Hospice Nurse LPN: Your story was so very touching. I cannot adequately convey the words to describe the feelings I felt as I read Your Post. I feel honored that you shared such intimacies of your life.

I've since thought about some of my own words I had written yesterday in one of my posts. I said, "Rarely, and I do mean rarely, do people change their behavior." As I reviewed my own words, My Little Voice that speaks within my head played the Devil's Advocate. My Little Voice said, "Well- oh yeah? What about all those People who you've met, worked with, and were inspired by, that worked a 12 Step Program?" The thought came back to me as I read these words in your post:

People do change their behavior. Changing One's behavior, as you are well aware, requires feats equal to the Trials of Hercules. Joseph Campbell referred to the process as "The Hero's Journey". Basically, The Hero experiences great hardships on the Journey Through Life and returns from the Painful Journey a Different Person. Different, in that the Individual experiences reality with a new perspective.

Perhaps Professor Campbell's own words describe the whole process more adequately: "The mystic swims in waters where others drown."

I doff my proverbial hat to you Ladies of Higher Conscious, you Heroines.

Dave

Davey (One of my favorite posters) Is A Definite Do

:redbeathe

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i was in a physically abusive relationship and as a result ended up with two black eyes at the same time. i went back to the guy (term used loosely) because i figured he would change. he was apologetic and back then, that was good enough for me. the violence continued...

i am hoping that this post will give a person out there who is a victim of it, the strength to leave. when i was going through it people would tell me to just leave. it isn't always that easy to just up and leave. i certainly didn't. i wanted so badly to be loved even though the cost was a busted up face and zero self-esteem. i was a broken woman.

i have goosebumps posting this as it is certainly not a pleasant subject, but let's face it; it happens. domestic violence has no boundaries. the one positive - because there is always a positive even in extreme cases - is that i will never and i mean never allow myself to be treated that way again.

national domestic violence hotline at 1−800−799−safe (7233) or tty 1−800−787−3224.

when i was engaged to my ex-husband, we had a friend who was in an abusive relationship. the day her boyfriend chased her around the woodpile with a splitting axe because she was late coming home from work (a grueling night shift that involved two patient deaths and a long, emotional debriefing at the end of it) and he thought she may have been cheating on him, i swore up and down that i would never put up with behavior like that. i'd leave the first time he hit me. i couldn't imagine why donna hadn't left him before this episode of attempted murder.

 

five years later, when i was being slowly strangled by my own husband in full view on a busy highway, i had cause to remember my bravado. no, i didn't leave the first time he hit me because he said he was sorry, swore to change, and i believed him. i had a lot at stake in wanting to believe him . . . a whole houseful and three carsful of reasons. we'd moved two thousand miles away from everyone and everything else i knew, and i was more afraid of what would happen if i left him than i was of what might happen if i stayed. we went to a marriage counselor who convinced me that it was my fault he'd hit me. i'd made him angry.

 

i stayed away for three months after the second time he hit me -- we went to counseling and the counselor thought he was getting better and that it would be safe for me to move back in. she was wrong. the third time he hit me, i stayed because, and this is the really crazy part, "i know i can take it. if i leave him, he'll just hit his next girlfriend or wife and it will have been my fault." he went to counseling sessions at the ymca, but quit going because "the counselor says i don't have a problem because i've never been arrested and i've never put you in the hospital."

 

as crazy as that sounds, he didn't hit me again for another year, although i didn't realize until months after it was over that i'd lived on tenterhooks the entire time. i walked on eggshells to avoid ******* him off . . . . after a year with no incidents, we went on a long weekend to the beach to celebrate the new stage in our relationship. we were sitting in a restaurant, dining on fried clams and steamed mussels when, without any warning at all, i saw a change come over his face. i knew then that i was in physical danger. i excused myself to go to the bathroom and just kept on going. he caught up with me outside.

 

it was three years before i could even date again, and when i did date, i deliberately chose someone i didn't really respect and knew i couldn't love so i wouldn't get trapped again. i dated him for four years, off and on. we lived together, but we didn't really share anything. my friends were so angry at him because he was selfish and lazy, but i didn't care because i knew i'd chosen him just so i'd be safe. if i didn't really care, he couldn't really hurt me. i knew i could leave him on a day's notice or less and not look back. then one day i caught him cheating on me, and just like that, it was over. the relationship was over in an instant, and i realized that i was ready for something better and had been for several months. dickhaid moved out on christmas eve, i had my first date with my wonderful husband on boxing day. we've been together ever since -- nearly 20 years.

 

i was an idiot, pure and simple. i had an education, a good job and a life of my own; i could have left my abusive husband after the first time he hit me. there are lots of women with no job, new education and young children to support who are well and truly trapped. if i could fall for all the "reasons" to stay, what about someone who really doesn't have an out? i've told my story many times -- in greater and lessor detail -- because if it helps one person, it will be worth the momentary discomfort i experience in the telling.

 

thank you for starting this thread. i hope it helps someone.

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Wow, you have opened a can of emotions for me. I also saw my parents fight and be really mean to each other. So when I was in the same sort of relationship, I thought it was OK. I stayed for 20 yrs....... and I did not decide to opt out, he did. ( I wanted to keep my family together) Best thing he ever did for me. Its been 10+ years, and I am not the person I was then. After he left, I FINALLY had the courage to pursue my lifelong dream of being a nurse. It wasnt easy..... took me ~ 8 yrs with prereqs and all, BUT I DID IT! My house has been in and out of foreclosure (in foreclosure right now), we have gone w/o gas, electricity, hot water, food, etc.......... but its all ok. I am MUCH stronger person for having gone thru that......... thank you for having the courage to speak up! (very few ppl know this about me)

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Ruby & Rdsx- Thanks so much for sharing your stories. Every time I tell my story it gets a little easier. Maybe one woman will hear and be able to identify. I know that when you are up to your ****in it, you feel as if you are the only person in that situation. Thanks again, ladies! :redbeathe

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